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Laws Concerning Gritty Houses, Landlord Duties, Put On Hold

The decision to pump up minimum housing standards was delayed at yesterday's City Council meeting, Rich Webster reports. The delay will allow time for public meetings and maybe even reaching common ground among neighborhood associations, landlords, and preservationists. Some of the basic housing standards were yanked after Hurricane Katrina in order to allow residents to live in their damaged homes while starting the renovation process. This means things like "proper lighting, ventilation, security, structural soundness, plumbing and electrical systems" aren't always up to a code that some neighbors deem acceptable. "Living next to a boarded-up home is not an ideal situation, but declaring it blighted and taking it to a sheriff's sale might not be the answer either, depending on where the property is located," said Councilwoman Stacy Head. The decision will be voted on in August.

Never a dull moment at the City Council meetings, is there? The president of the Landlord Association said, "Unfortunately, most of the people who got Road Home money bought their Escalades and Suburbans and left town." Coucilwoman LaToya Cantrell didn't take too kindly to that jab, calling it a "slap in the face" to those who didn't receive their Road Home share. She also had some beef with a landlord who didn't think he should have to provide kitchen appliances for his low-income renters in Central City. "If you make me provide them, they will be stolen every time, and it's a business model I can't do," he said.
· New Orleans City Council Delays Vote on Housing Code Reforms [nola.com]