Fresno City Council candidate says he's been unfairly labeled a 'slumlord'

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sean Sanchez knows his 16 unit complex on East Lane in Southeast Fresno, doesn't look great from the outside, but he says the city's Anti-Slum Enforcement Team racked up nearly 1,300 violations during a property inspection that came complete with police back up and a locksmith.

"I think that the city is going after small property owners that have little means to fight and to stand up for their rights," said Sanchez.

Within the past few months, Sanchez says he's spent more than $32,000 trying to fix all of the violations.

"We've replaced all the exterior doors, we've stuccoed the fascia and stairwell. Replaced some of the windows."

Some units are getting a complete facelift, but not fast enough. Thursday, Deputy City Attorney Christina Roberson said a recent inspection showed significant problems still exist.

"Our agreement called for the complete rehabilitation of the property, and the clearance of all violations and that deadline was not met."

Sanchez agreed to pay $27,000 in administrative costs for the inspections and violations, but the agreement has now expired, and the money is still owed.

Julio Gaytan has lived at the complex for about 6 years.

"I pay about $700 a month, and it's pretty good for a three bedroom apartment."

He's a farmworker who says his unit is fine for his wife and three children.

"It is livable. Because if it wasn't livable, I wouldn't be here."

The list of violations, according to Sanchez, is close to 12 inches high. He doesn't like being called a slumlord, so he is running for Fresno City Council in hopes to increase affordable housing for families.

City officials dispute Sanchez's assertion and say the violations at the complex are serious. Everything from cockroaches, to many police, calls for service and even gang-related shootings.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.