Support Tovo/Martiznez Stand Up Against Stealth Dorms
In an important first step, Council Members Tovo and Martinez stand up to stop abuses of the rental code and stealth dorms. We need to stand with them to ensure success of their initial efforts. Their resolution is before the Council Thursday, June 6th. Let Council know you support Tovo/Martinez’s resolution.
Here are two simple steps to have your voice heard:
- Send an email to all Council Members, stating your support for this resolution, using this link: http://www.austintexas.gov/government
- Call and tell the staff of the following Council Members that you support the resolution:
- Mayor Lee Leffingwell: 512-974-2250
- Council Member Laura Morrison: 512-974-2258
- Council Member Chris Riley: 512-974-2260
We applaud Martinez and Tovo for their leadership. Read the resolution below and have your voice heard.
WHEREAS, the City is committed to ensuring that residential rental properties are safe and maintained in every area of our community; and
WHEREAS, with recent structural failures identified in multifamily residences that endangered public health and safety, better means are needed to ensure these property owners manage their properties responsibly to protect the community welfare; and
WHEREAS, existing policy has not sufficiently assured compliance with applicable standards because the current policy only allows inspections based on complaints, after conditions may have deteriorated significantly; and
WHEREAS, it is the intent to develop additional regulations for rental units located within the City that have received multiple building code citations in order to better protect the health, safety and welfare of the tenants who reside in these rental units and their surrounding neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS, in 2009 a similar resolution was adopted by Council creating a stakeholder process, but that process never resulted in a rental registry program; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Commission initiated a Stealth Dorm working group to address occupancy and other issues that have had particular impacts on several neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS, Rental Registration could also address safety, occupancy and other issues associated with Stealth Dorms; and
WHEREAS, the City of Austin has had to spend considerable resources on non-compliant multi-family complexes in the East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood area (EROC); and
WHEREAS, the Austin Police Department was awarded a grant entitled “Restore Rundberg” to improve the quality of life, health, safety, education, and well-being of individuals living and working in the Rundberg neighborhood, and a rental registry will assist the Austin Police Department in partnering with property owners; and
WHEREAS, the Code Compliance Department is supportive of acrental registration program and believes the program is necessary to solve many code compliance issues with rental properties; and
WHEREAS, other cities including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as over twenty Texas cities including Houston, Dallas, College Station, Sugarland, Plano, Fort Worth, Garland, Arlington, Waco, Missouri City and Hurst have implemented successful residential rental property registration programs to ensure the safety of their residents; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:
The City Manager is hereby directed to develop a one-year pilot registration program for any residential rental property in the areas of North Austin Civic Association (NACA), East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood (EROC), Central Austin Neighborhood Advisory Committee (CANPAC) Planning Areas, Hyde Park, Northfield and North Loop.Consistent with many registration programs elsewhere that include local property managers, periodic scheduled inspections, and a listing of tenant’s names, this program should require registration for multifamily rental properties and identify conditions under which registration for single family or duplex rental properties would be required and present an ordinance to Council within 90 days.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:
The City Manager is further directed to initiate a code amendment that would allow for enhanced fines after the first conviction of a city code violation related to property maintenance.
ADOPTED: ____________, 2013 ATTEST:______________________
Jannette S. Goodall