ABOUT US

Equitable Communities CLT is working to change the conversation around affordable and equitable housing in  the Charlotte area.

CONTACT

Equitable Communities CLT

 

2820 Selwyn Avenue

Suite 684

Charlotte, NC 28209

 

info@equitablecommunitiesclt.org

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Below are the Calls to Action that we have sent out to the Community for support.  Please continue to reach out to your City Council, Mayor and Board of County Commissioners to enlist their support.  Your voice matters!!

Call to Action
Minimum Housing Code Regulations

September 19, 2019 

 

 

We need your Support!!!
Equitable Communities agrees with the proposed language changes to the Code that will be presented to City Council on Monday 09-23rd.  However, the proposed changes will not prevent another Lake Arbor situation from occurring in the future. 
 
Please send the following text in blue to your City Council representative. Please open this LINK  and scroll down for your City Council person's contact information. In addition, if you are passionate about supporting this position, please plan to attend the City Council meeting Monday evening.  Finally, you may also sign up to speak against the Minimum Housing Code Revision.
 
Dear City Council Person,
We ask you to join us in requesting that the City Council and Mayor do not pass the revision to the Minimum Housing Code until/unless:

  1. Acknowledge that the revisions are just the first step in making changes AND

  2. Recommend that the Council’s Neighborhood Development Committee continue to work with the staff and community advocates to improve the escalation processes issues and staffing changes. 

The recommended changes are positive changes but the community discussion regarding Minimum Housing Code Standards should not end with these minor wording changes.  We need both process and staffing changes approved to invoke systemic change to help residents in need of safe & affordable housing.
Thank you for your support

 
Background and our Reasoning:
 
The key public interest in revising the Code Standards Enforcement Processes is to decrease the likelihood of a repeat of the Lake Arbor apartments continuing deterioration over time that is resulting in the resident's displacement.  The root cause of the unfortunate outcome of the Lake Arbor situation has much more to do with the enforcement of processes and related fines than the detailed wording of the Code. The key to preventing the recurrence of the Lake Arbor situation is to strengthen the escalation process upon validation of multiple violations for a landlord.
 
The City should not passively let resident citizens’ rights to safe living conditions continue to be violated when they are identified.   We strongly agree that most existing NOAH apartment owners/managers are responsible and would not let this situation occur and therefore should not be penalized for others bad behavior.   However, when unsafe living conditions are identified as systemic within a complex then extraordinary action should be taken by the City to support the resident citizens’ basic rights.
 
Equitable Communities CLT has participated in discussions with the City staff and other interested community partners and we have offered recommendations to both the City Staff and the Council Neighborhood Development Committee regarding the processes surrounding enforcement of code violations.  Our recommendations included adding specific standards for ‘repeat offenders’ that enabled enforcement with stiffer fines and escalation processes that did not penalize the responsible owner/managers.  Unfortunately, the City Staff and the Council’s Neighborhood Development Committee have not made significant changes to the escalation process.
 
We strongly believe that there appear to be more aggressive actions that the City is allowed by State Law that we have not pursued in the past.  We believe that the City should aggressively pursue as many avenues as possible earlier in the process than what occurred in the Lake Arbor situation.
 
If further analysis determines that current State Law limits the City’s desired enforcement capabilities, we are asking that all necessary modifications be explicitly included in City Council’s State Legislative Agenda.  In addition, any additional funding for staffing and/or systems support identified should be also be considered in next year’s budget.