Study Finds Houston’s Apartment Safety Programs Are Flawed

A report by the University of Texas School of Law has discovered that Houston’s packages designed to make sure condo security are “flawed, fractured and improperly managed.”

The 16-month examine launched Feb. 6 is known as “Out of Order: Houston’s Dangerous Apartment Epidemic.” The report seemed on the metropolis’s regulation of condo complexes and enforcement procedures, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The examine discovered that greater than 1 / 4 of the roughly four,000 condo complexes topic to inspection by Houston Public Works lack certificates of occupancy. Findings additionally confirmed that duty for condo security packages is split amongst a number of metropolis departments that don’t share knowledge, and metropolis insurance policies involving 311 complaints imply staff shut circumstances after solely minimal follow-up.

“The city of Houston is operating a largely dysfunctional system for addressing tenant safety that appears to have little or no oversight by city leaders,” wrote Heather Way, director of the regulation college’s entrepreneurship and group growth clinic. “The identification of dangerous apartment conditions in Houston remains primarily complaint-based and, even then, Houston fails to adequately inspect and otherwise follow up on complaints.”

The examine got here practically a decade after a state regulation handed requiring Houston to “establish minimum habitability standards” for multifamily rental buildings and examine these properties. Houston responded in 2009 with a program to usually study leases of three or 4 extra items and requiring multifamily constructing homeowners to register with town.

But Way mentioned town’s packages for guaranteeing tenant security stay largely reactive, noting it took public works employees greater than 5 years to examine the four,000 properties underneath a system that isn’t risk-based.

Public Works spokeswoman Alanna Reed mentioned the division is reviewing the findings.

“This is not the first critical report that the … Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic has released about apartment regulations in large Texas cities,” she mentioned. “But Houston is unique in Texas because it has the third highest number of occupied apartments in the country. About half of all Houstonians are renters.”

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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