Forest City May Revise Rental Inspection Proposal

A controversial rental and homeowner inspection ordinance proposed by a Forest City Housing Committee has been placed in the hands of a City Council committee. The proposed ordinance would have created a Housing Inspector who would have gone through each rental home in the city at least every five years checking on a number of areas outlined in a housing code. There were also stipulations for special inspections of complaints filed with the city where inspections could have been conducted on the cited items.

At a recent informational meeting with members of the council and Mayor Ruiter, residents voiced strong opposition to the measure and it was referred back to committee. The council is asking a committee of three councilmen and three landlords to hash out a better agreement. According to City Administrator Barb Smith, discussion is scheduled for later this year.

Once the committee is assembled, they will begin the process of negotiating what is affordable, acceptable, and workable for both parties, while keeping the interests of renters in mind.

Many changes have already made with regards to building codes such as windows in all bathrooms, distance from the wall to the toilet, and other suggested regulations because of the practicality in older homes and the general cost to follow through with these. Smith says it is now in the hands of the committee to come up with a solution.

The hope by the city is provide safe, affordable housing that is free of hazards and danger to current and future renters.