Mirroring a contentious vote a week ago, the Fresno City Council gave final approval to Mayor Lee Brand’s ordinance and regulations to establish an interior inspection program for rental housing throughout the city.
The new rules are aimed at creating a comprehensive database of all apartments and rental homes in Fresno and requiring periodic inspections of properties to ensure compliance with state and local health and safety laws. The rules spring from persistent complaints about substandard housing and slumlords who fail to maintain their properties. As happened Feb. 2, the second reading of the ordinance passed on a 4-3 vote, with Councilmen Steve Brandau, Garry Bredefeld and Council President Clint Olivier voting “no.”
Also, the council unanimously approved positions and money to establish a new Anti-Slum Enforcement Team, which will include code-enforcement inspectors and staff from the City Attorney’s Office to respond to complaints about substandard rental housing – a reactive portion of the housing program, compared with the preventive inspections in Brand’s program. Olivier and Brandau successfully proposed the Anti-Slumlord Enforcement Team program in December.