Thursday, February 19, 2009


There has been a lot of talk lately about rental inspections. While this is all fine and good, what about the owner occupied homes which are in dangerously poor condition?

The "Report on Code Enforcement" dated January 11, 2009 states."Providing safe housing for themselves is a basic responsibility for every homeowner. A safe dwelling allows the family to live free from concern for unsafe mechanical systems, pest infestations, or other treats to health and well-being. In such places the cost for heat, water and sewage should be reasonable and predictable. Responsible homeowners routinely take the initiative to ensure that these basics are provided. Government's role in the regulation of owner-occupied housing is somewhat limited: inform the community of accepted standards, and ensure that the life-safety issues are in compliance with existing code provisions."

I must say that not all of the blighted homes in New Albany are not rental property, some of them are owner-occupied. No, I don't have the statistics but we all know this is true. I have nothing against the regulation of rental properties but I think homeowners should be regulated also. An unsafe house is an unsafe house.

As far as Government's role in regulation being limited, I beg to differ on that issue also. Ordinance G-04-23 lists the responsibilities of the Building Commissioner as follows:
  1. Enter the premises to determine compliance. 150.101(E)

  2. Determine the identity and address of landowner. 150.101(E)

  3. Send written notice by certified mail. 150.101(E)

  4. Have the city remove material and vehicles. 150.101(E)

  5. File a lien against the property with the County Recorder for all costs incurred by the city for removal.

Procedure to file a lien on property: 150.101(G)

  1. Building Commissioner to Recorder

  2. Recorder to Auditor

  3. Auditor to Treasurer

  4. Treasurer add to next tax bill to be mailed.

Let's please change our way of thinking from substandard and unsafe rental property to substandard and unsafe property. We all want the same thing, for New Albany to be a clean, safe, and decent place for all of us to live. While home ownership is an ideal situation, this is not feasible for everyone for various reasons. But everyone should take pride in their home, rather the title be in the resident's name or someone else's name. A person's home is just that.