The Fresno City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that adds occupants of a property, condominium owners’ associations and property managers to the list of who can be penalized for chronic nuisances or blight.
Listen, through an interpreter, to the story of Tong Cha, whose 78-year-old husband died of respiratory failure and pneumonia. Cha wrapped Her Xa Lor in blankets in their unit at Summerset Village Apartments, which had no heat for a month because of old and leaky gas lines.
Scientific research increasingly points to an association between poor housing, physical illnesses and psychological conditions. Fresno County’s health officer says poor housing conditions have long-lasting and detrimental health effects.
Fresno families are living in run-down apartments infested with rodents, cockroaches, mold and other poor conditions. Photos by Bee photographers Silvia Flores and John Walker, and Bee reporter BoNhia Lee.
As Fresno struggles to deal with substandard and poorly maintained rental housing across the city, one problem cited by officials is tenants’ reluctance to report serious health, safety and code enforcement issues. The city hopes its mobile phone app will make people more likely to speak up about problems.
Owner neglect has led to unhealthy and unsafe living conditions in Fresno apartments. But some owners and managers, including nonprofit affordable developers, are stepping in to fix up, build and maintain quality housing units.