Healthy Housing Rental Inspection Program - Help Us Pass it for Tenant Safety!
I've learned a lot about Proactive Rental Inspection Programs over the last year since I've been working to figure out why and how both the Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire and the lead paint poisoning crisis became known in December 2016.
I have friends in Fruitvale and of course I wanted to know who was responsible for allowing these situations to develop. Everyone did.
It turns out there is no single person, organization, or group in charge of having prevented either of these situations from occurring.
Together they happened because there is no structure, rule, or regulation in place to ensure they don't.
That's what a Proactive Rental Inspection Program, sometimes called a PRI Program, or a Healthy Homes Program does.
- Landlords sign up to register their property to explain what it's like, what they charge for their units, and the condition they're in.
- Tenants sign up to register that they are living at a property to explain what it's like, what they pay for their units, and to report what condition they're in.
- The City of Oakland monitors these connections and locations to ensure the units are up to code and to make sure the landlords know what they're supposed to be doing to ensure their units are safe for tenants. This also allows them to ensure tenants are not living in hazardous conditions without any protections or safety for their families.
I'm 100% for a PRI in Oakland because it is one of the core pillars of regulation we need to get a grip on the housing crisis and to make sure landlords who are not maintaining their properties to keep them safe from fire, mold, pests and issues like this and so they are not renting units to people and not telling them they have not had them abated for lead poisoning.
The law does not allow landlords to rent lead poisoned rooms to tenants.
If this is happening, which it is at the level of a city emergency, landlords need to be brought into compliance to stop doing it because each child that becomes lead poisoned is 100% avoidable and it creates life long disability for them, loss of quality of life to their families who have to support them, costs tax payers millions of dollars each year for health support services to the poisoned child, and recent studies show early childhood lead poisoning is correlated with premature death from heart attacks.
It has to stop - there is no excuse for it.
Our goal is to help Oakland City Council and Oaklanders from all backgrounds understand the gravity of this situation and do what's right by passing a Healthy Homes Inspection Program to ensure no one is profiting off poisoning vulnerable children in our city.
Join us and help support the agenda to pass a PRI in the City of Oakland in 2018.