Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

apartment building

State lawmakers propose $100M renter bailout as unemployment soars

By: - April 1, 2020

Rent is due today for the first time since more than 270,000 Minnesotans lost their jobs because of COVID-19, many of them in low-paying restaurant and retail jobs. Unemployment insurance only covers a fraction of people’s previous earnings, which puts the 44% of renters who already pay more than they can afford on housing in […]

Sleep Number stores are ‘essential’; furniture stores are not

By: - March 31, 2020

Sleep Number stores across Minnesota will remain open during the stay-at-home period aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 even as furniture stores have been forced to close. That’s because the Minneapolis-based mattress seller is not a furniture store, it’s a “sleep store with solutions for improved health and well-being,” according to a spokeswoman for […]

construction workers

Construction workers have plenty of PPE, even after donations to health care workers

By: - March 31, 2020

Minnesota’s director of infectious disease said recently that the biggest challenge for frontline health care workers is a lack of personal protective equipment like face masks and goggles. Some health care workers are now using hand-sewn masks or washing and reusing N95 masks. The construction industry, which relies on much of the same equipment, has […]

construction workers

‘Essential’ construction continues on luxury apartments, even during stay-at-home order

By: - March 30, 2020

Visit nearly any construction site in Minnesota, and you wouldn’t know the state is in its most severe lockdown in history to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Men and women work shoulder-to-shoulder installing siding on luxury apartments, fitting pipes in narrow trenches and lifting walls into place. They cram into lifts, share tools and porta […]

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

Abdi Warsame wins city council approval to lead housing authority, starts March 31

By: - March 27, 2020

Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame will take the helm of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority on March 31, making him the first Somali-American to lead a government agency in Minnesota. Warsame’s appointment was confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday online during a remote meeting. “I want to offer my congratulations to Council […]

Your questions on the Minnesota stay-at-home order answered

By: , and - March 25, 2020

Why again are we doing this? Gov. Tim Walz warned that if the state did nothing to slow the rate of COVID-19 infections, Minnesota’s death toll could rise to 74,000. The stay-at-home order is intended to buy Minnesota health officials time to build its intensive-care treatment capacity and ramp up testing.   I’m running low on […]

unacast social distancing scoreboard

Minnesota gets an “A” in social distancing

By: - March 25, 2020

Minnesotans are above-average in social distancing, according to smart phone surveillance data you probably didn’t know you were giving away. The company Unacast, which analyzes phone GPS data, launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” this week that shows how much people have reduced their typical travel as state and local governments have taken drastic action to […]

family evicted nevada

Gov. Walz suspends evictions as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

By: - March 23, 2020

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday ordered a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the peacetime emergency to help curb the spread of COVID-19. “We’re asking people to stay home as much as possible,” Walz said during a news conference. “We can’t make this work (if we) have people on the streets. It would […]

apartment building

Minn. landlord group says members should halt evictions through May

By: - March 23, 2020

A trade group representing nearly 2,000 landlords in Minnesota is asking its members to halt evictions, late fees and rent increases through May to help ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus and slow its spread. The guidance comes as Gov. Tim Walz considers ordering Minnesotans to shelter in place, which could come with an […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County moves 130 homeless people into hotels for COVID-19 protection

By: - March 21, 2020

One hundred thirty people experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County have voluntarily moved into separate living quarters in hotels just four days after the county board unanimously approved spending $3 million on isolation and quarantine spaces. So far, the county has contracts with two area hotels and is working on securing more spaces as the need […]

Minnesota sees first death from COVID-19

By: - March 21, 2020

A Ramsey County resident in their 80s is the first known person with COVID-19 to have died in Minnesota, the Department of Health reported Saturday. The person died on March 19 and had contact with a family member who had previously tested positive and had a history of international travel. “Gwen and I extend our deepest […]


Who can cancel evictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak?

By: - March 20, 2020

Cities and states across the country, including Minnesota, have temporarily halted evictions as health officials urge people to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the short term, judges in Minnesota have stopped hearing new eviction cases, except for those involving domestic abuse or personal safety. Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea […]