FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The Rental Housing Improvement Act passed in March of 2017 with the goal of ensuring safe and sanitary conditions at rentals throughout the city. Health and safety inspectors are put in charge of enforcing the regulations.
“Is it serving its intended purpose? I think the situation that occurred at Manchester Arms and the fact that properties like that continue to exist has answered that question for all of us very loud and clear,” said Fresno City Councilmember Nelson Esparza of District 7.
Back in March of this year, code enforcement officers descended at Manchester Arms apartments on Effie street. Fresno City Council says Fresno renters need newer, stronger protections in place.
“So folks in our city deserve housing security, they deserve habitability within those housing units and it’s our hope that these two — the resolution and the ordinance that I’m bringing forth with each of these members will contribute towards that environment for our residents.”
Council members Nelson Esparza, Miguel Arias and Tyler Maxwell created the framework for two housing improvement resolutions — the first is an eviction protection program.
“We are anticipating a flood of evictions across this nation. It will be open to Fresno residents and will establish an in-house voluntary mediation program as well as contract with an outside law firm to provide legal services,” said Fresno City Councilmember Tyler Maxwell, District 4.
The second part of the package includes regulations like requiring landlords to make required repairs or corrections within a set time frame or face penalties.
“In this case if a landlord gets a violation and they don’t correct it they’ll get a penalty. If the landlord fails to register their property, they’ll get a penalty. If a landlord fails to provide accurate information, they’ll get a penalty,” said Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias, District 3.
Fresno City Council will meet Thursday to discuss the proposed housing improvement acts.