Property Owners Should Be Required To Declare All Rental Units
We should start by creating an ordinance that requires any property owner renting-for-profit to declare the location, and mailing address, for every rental unit they own. This would establish a public record, and failure to list a rental unit on the "declaration of rental units" ordinance should include a fine of up to $5,000. The required declaration would make it possible to prosecute and fine landlords who rent illegal apartments, as well as any real estate brokers who advertise them. A telephone tip line for residents to turn in suspected violators should be considered. The downside to this would be the monumental task of providing housing for the scores of families that may be left homeless resulting from the crackdown on illegal apartments.
Funding for attractive, livable and affordable housing must be found. The City of Huntington Housing Authority, under the able leadership of William "Bill" Dodson, is diligently seeking funding for future affordable public housing development. The City of Charleston has developed complete neighborhoods of public housing that are modern looking and attractive. Everyone agrees that we need to get rid of our worn out and drab public housing units and replace them with whole developments that are architecturally attractive, yet affordable for our citizens.
Let's start by identifying all rental housing units and ensuring that our local building codes meet the standards of the national building codes - for the safety and protection of our Marshall University students and our citizens who are forced to live in substandard housing.