The largest rental property manager in Fresno said a well-funded and responsive code enforcement system to fight blight is fair for everyone.
Bryce Hovannisian of JD Home Rentals said Tuesday he supports recommendations largely adopted by the City Council to address vacant homes and blight inFresno. As chairman of the property manager’s association for the Lowell and Yokomi areas of Fresno, Hovannisian told The Bee’s editorial board he had input into the vacant blighted building law.
Hovannisian said his company is taking down boards on vacant homes and replacing them with plexiglass, one requirement of the blight ordinance. Hovannisian would not say how many boarded homes he is responsible for in the city but said, “I have it all,” referring to the supply of plexiglass in Fresno.
JD Homes is one of the Valley’s largest property management companies and has been sued in a class-action case over alleged code violations. The company has denied the allegations.
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This fall, the city said more than 1,000 vacant single-family residences had been identified as violating the law.
Code enforcement has come under scrutiny since Nov. 12, when hundreds of residents of Summerset Village Apartments in central Fresno were without natural gas and heat. The incident eventually led to a declaration of a local state of emergency while crews worked for about a month to restore services to the residents, many of whom are low-income.
Mayor Ashley Swearengin also has made code enforcement a priority in an effort to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods. She and nonprofit advocacy groups are especially concerned with the effect of vacant blighted houses in struggling neighborhoods.