Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vancouver testing measure to force repairs by Slum landlords

Barry Artiste Op/Ed

I think that is a step in the right direction, as long as the City has the balls to allow Landlords to immediately evict those tenants who deal drugs, and damage the landlords property.  Previously Landlords had no help from the city to evict those tenants who continually destroyed the landlords property. 

Granted there are slum lords, but many are not, so you have to see both sides of the issue, which many in the DTES protest group rarely do.

Slumlords, beware.

City of Vancouver staff are looking for the worst of the worst Downtown Eastside landlords in an attempt to crack down on those who let their buildings fall into disrepair.

For years, the problem of landlords ignoring city inspector's orders to fix their dilapidated buildings has frustrated city hall, said Coun. Tim Stevenson.

On Thursday, Stevenson put forward a motion to test "a brand new tool" in the city's enforcement repertoire: a court injunction ordering repairs.

"It's only, obviously, relatively few who continue to avoid doing repairs or upgrading their buildings. And we have our inspectors go in and they just rip up the letters that they get," he said.

Now, Stevenson said, the city wants to ask the courts to add some clout to that request. Over the next three months, city staff will identify one landlord on whom to pilot the new approach.

One Downtown Eastside advocate called the motion a "mini-victory", but wishes the city had gone further. "There's skepticism in the community that [an injunction] will work and people would prefer that the city just go in and do the repairs," said the Wendy Pedersen of the Carnegie Community Action Project.

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