City of Fresno launching first phase of substandard housing

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A year after it was announced the effort to get a handle of Fresno's rental housing is getting off the ground. (KFSN)

A year after it was announced the effort to get a handle on Fresno's rental housing is getting off the ground. The city council approved the Rental Housing Improvement Act last year and Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced the first step of identifying and registering rental properties is underway.

"We are now ready to start the registry process with an ultimate goal to protect our residents, honor our good landlords and put the bad ones on notice," Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

The goal is now to get the owners of the estimated 90,000 rental units to voluntarily register their properties with the city.

"All properties are required to be registered, all rental properties," said Kelly Furtado.

Most apartment owners are being notified, Mayor Brand says the goal is to get all landlords to comply.

"What we are going to find with this registration is that a lot of the smaller properties, single-family houses, little duplexes those are the ones that are going to get on the radar that is not on the radar right now," said Brand.

Owners of rental property have 30 days to register and they can do it online. Failure to register can result in fines of from $100 to $1,000 depending on how long compliance takes.

The rental registry program comes in response to the plague of substandard housing and slumlords throughout the city. The hope is reputable property owners will quickly comply.

"So we can focus our resources on the negligent property owners and get them cleaned up."

Housing advocates who have criticized the city for allowing substandard housing are applauding the move. Letty Valencia of Faith in Community says they will be watching to see if the city, will follow through.

"We hope this first step is a sign that they are going to make this a top priority and start the proactive inspections immediately," said Leticia Valencia.

Inspections of rental properties are getting underway. But with ten inspectors and 90,000 units, it is going to take a while.
Related Topics:
realestateaffordable housingFresno County
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