In response to concerns raised at Monday’s council meeting Mayor Jon Costas and the City Council are temporarily withdrawing the proposed Rental Inspection Ordinance from the council’s agenda on Nov 29, announced Costas. “While the city needs a better tool to combat a small but growing number of substandard rental units, the proposed ordinance requiring regular five-year inspections of all apartments is too invasive,” said Costas.
The city will not abandon its goal of enforcing minimal standards of habitability for rental units, but will explore a less intrusive and less costly ordinance. A new “complaint driven” type of ordinance was offered as an alternative to the inspection model introduced at the Nov 8 council meeting, which was met with many questions and concerns by citizens.
The Mayor and council have asked Bruce Berner, VU Law Professor, to reconvene the rental housing task force and to explore a complaint-driven ordinance that strikes a better balance between privacy interests and solving the issue of substandard rental housing. Berner will work with the task force members to draft a revised ordinance and present it for public comment on Wednesday, Mar 16, at 7 pm at City Hall. Following the public meeting the ordinance is expected to reach the City Council for first reading on Monday Mar 28, 2011.
Costas thanked all the citizens who came to the November 8 council meeting and encouraged them to continue to monitor the revised ordinance and offer comment at the public meeting on Mar 16.