At the last City Council Meeting (March 7th, 2016), the New Albany City Council unanimously passed a rental registration program on its first and second readings. The City Council is set to vote on final approval of the rental registration program this Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. The ordinance will require landlords to register any properties within the city limits that will be rented to tenants.
New Albany is now over 200 years old, and the city needs to be proactive in its approach to protecting the housing stock. By passing this ordinance, we have taken a huge step forward for the city of New Albany. The passage of a rental registration program will allow our building commissioner and his team to address issues that may arise in a timely manner and immediately contact the owner to remedy the situation.
However, at the March 7th Council Meeting, the council voted to remove the inspection portion of this ordinance. The inspection component of the ordinance would have aided in setting minimum housing standards to improve safety for residents, and protect the character and stability of the City's homes and neighborhoods. The pictures below help illustrate some of the issues that inspection can help address.
According to the 2010 census, there are nearly 7,000 rental housing units in New Albany that serve approximately 44% of the city population. With such high rental demand, situations can occur where a portion of the city population becomes vulnerable as they are forced into sub-standard housing, by necessity. The city acknowledges that most of the landlords in our community are very responsible, but we all must agree that some do not maintain their rental property to code and are unresponsive to tenant concerns. The inspection portion of the rental registration ordinance would help expedite these issues, and help protect some of our most vulnerable members of our community.