Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rental Registration a Good Issue for a Non-Election Year

      After over two years of study and preparation, Councilman Steve Jennings has put forth his proposal for rental registration as a means of improving the quality of rental housing stock.
      Mr. Jennings has long advocated registration, a concept that has surfaced before but was rejected as landlords feared cost and bureacracy and the heavy hand of City Hall.
      The plan faces opposition from property owners, many of whom are local people, and not the absentee slumlords who are part of the dialogue on this issue.
       Registration and inspection are part of a broader discussion on blighted property, but it is unclear to many how registration accomplishes the goal.  Sixty percent of Watertown residents live in rental property.
       From the WDT story, it seems the proposal faces a bumpy ride, but there is (or will be) editorial and establishment support for registration as this idea predated the Jennings campaign in 2013.
       Registration was kept below the radar last year, I suspect because a galvanizing issue like this was problematic for candidates trying to not alienate the ownership class, who actually vote.
       Mr. Jennings concern over the quality of housing stock is laudable, but there has never been a link explained about how this form of regulation in one community changes anything.
       On the other hand, I have nothing to hide. I have two apartments. There. I am registered.



Anonymous said...

Just what you need to make you more competitive with the DANC-assisted taxpayer-fleecing corporate welfare apartments outside of the city.
Why I have a good mind to go buy some of those zombie homes and start fixing them up and renting them, now that i know the city will help by harassing me.


Anonymous said...

Let me try to clear this up for you.
By registering the apartments and agreeing to the inspection and addressing any deficiencies found, the apartment would then be put on a list, I assume on the city's website. Potential renters could then peruse that list and pick housing from that list knowing that it has been inspected and approved. Saves tenants from looking at run down, unsafe housing and allows them to save time. For people moving into the area it is especially helpful as they are not familiar with the landscape and some of the landlords to avoid.
Only problem with this plan is that we have too many apartments already. Therefore most tenants are going to look for what is easy and readily available, perhaps with a flat screen tv thrown in, making most of the apartments in Watertown undesirable.
Giving all the zombie houses to NOW is a really bad idea. Look at the Emerson place properties that they are supposed to be in charge of. After investing how many dollars of your tax dollars, they have allowed the scum of the earth to move in there and trash the place. The houses they fixed up have been homogenized and are now about as desirable as the 801 housing we are stuck with. Let private citizen's pick up the zombies instead. I want no more tax dollars given to NOW. I just don't see why the city thinks they are helping the situation. I would love to hear some success stories about their projects but over and over again I hear complaints about the management and how they fail to do the job they were hired to do.

Anonymous said...

He needs to start working towards something the city really needs. It isn't bed bugs, crows, free shots, and ending the STD problem. That's for his other job with the county. Rent control sounds like a county level thing too. He needs to stop the county's work at City Hall.

Anonymous said...

How about a task force to address the loss of revenue from hydro in the not so near future. Sorry if you did not hear me with your heads stuck in the sand. Will Moses lead the exodus?