According to the 2000 census, the city of New Albany boasts in excess of 6,400 rental units. In some areas of the city, well more than half of the population lives in rental housing, the quality of which varies widely.
Cities across the United States have recognized an explicit need to regulate rental units. A clear and persuasive example, just one among hundreds, was first cited here in January, 2006.
VALLEJO (CALIFORNIA) RENTAL PROPERTY PROGRAM
A Comprehensive Community Model
This is to be accomplished by developing, passing and implementing a new city ordinance that would, in part:
· Contain an inspection process for all rental property
· Impose fines for violations of the ordinance on property owners/property images
· Establish a database of all rental property, and
· Include an enforcement process
· Would, as much as possible, be financially self supporting
Myriad benefits that would contribute to cleaner, safer neighborhoods are expected to result from the implementation of a rental inspection ordinance, and include:
· Increased property values
· Increased rental demand
· Decreased general calls for police services
· Decreased calls about rental property problems to Code Enforcement
· Increased property management involvement in solving rental property issues
Why Does Vallejo Need a Rental Inspection Program?
Rental inspection programs are designed to accomplish three main goals:
· To clean up rental stock
· To improve the quality of life in neighborhoods
· To increase the economic value of single family homes and other rental residences
But in New Albany, where the long-seated ward heelers eschew ordinance enforcement as a phenomenon that costs the machine votes, the largely uncontrolled and unregulated proliferation of rental properties inexorably contributes to, and in many ways both enables and perpetuates, the culture of unaccountability and dysfunction that must be reversed if the city of New Albany is to move into the future.Sadly, another year has passed, and although time and again the precepts elucidated in the Vallejo Rental Property Program have been discussed by our neighborhood groups and progressive advocates as essential components not only of citywide economic revitalization, but of a belated recognition of basic human rights with respect to the living conditions of tenants, these concerns yet again have eluded New Albany’s elected and appointed public officials.
The conclusion is inescapable.
Not only has the city formerly known as New Albany passed the “tipping” point, it has in fact become a veritable Gregoryville, as safe a harbor for rental property abuse and tenant exploitation as Paraguay once was for inexplicably unemployed and homeless ex-residents of Germany.
Neighborhood concerns are consistently ignored, and slumlords forever enabled, and so let us face reality and greet our real leaders here in Gregoryville with open arms and a humble spirit.*
Ladies and Gentlemen, we at NA Confidential proudly give you our city’s Man (and Woman) of the Year for 2006: None other than Slumlordis ordinaris, beneficiary of the Slumlord Protection Program, and as far from an endangered species as ragweed in summer.
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
* maybe they’ll knock a few bucks off the rent if we grovel.
We're taking another day off. Read The Parting Glass at the Potable Curmudgeon blog for an apt New Year's thought ... and see you again late Monday evening.