Thursday, August 2, 2012

WWU Students Call (Yet Again) for Rental Inspections

The Associated Students of Western Washington University (A/S) has just sent a letter to Mayor Linville voicing the concerns of students over the dangers posed by substandard and dangerous rental housing in Bellingham and the lack of a program of regular inspections of all rentals.  The letter was signed by Patrick Stickney, the A/S Vice President for Governmental Affairs and the A/S President Ethan Glemaker.  The press release on the letter stated:

“Students make Bellingham their home for four or more years, and they should not have to deal with conditions which affect their quality of life in order to obtain an education”, said Stickney. “Students also don’t know their rights as tenants or get labeled as ‘high-maintenance tenants’ if they try to exert them. This issue doesn’t just affect students, but all residents of Bellingham who live in rental houses.” 

The letter referenced a survey of renters conducted in 2011 that demonstrated that a surprising percentage of rental homes in the city have life threatening conditions related to electrical and plumbing systems, mold, structural problems, filth and vermin.  Over two years ago, the Associated Students passed a resolution on the topic of rental inspections and asked that the city take action.  The students are still waiting.  There are some 8,000 to 10,000 student renters in the city whose 18,000 rental units remain utterly uncontrolled.  These young renters are well aware of the dangers of substandard housing as they are, for all intents and purposes, forced to  live in some of the worst year after year for lack of choice.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does ANY reader even suspect that city personnel or even council or mayor have any interest at all in actually dealing with any part of Bellingham's rental licencing scandal which allows an inequitable standard wherein ONLY the rental profit business is allowed to operate in town without a business licence. ( Which currently means that rental owners BUT NOBODY ELSE ) are free from controls. DOES THAT MAKE SENSE ??
IN TWELVE YEARS OF EFFORT THROUGH UNTOLD COUNCIL MEMBERS and CITY LEGAL DEPARTMENTS there has been monumental neglect to upkeep of either standards of rental property or enforcement of zoning rules.
The scenario seems to be WAIT UNTIL THE SKIES FALL in the form of district blight and tenant
Some fire ravaged tenant/s' funeral may not even stir the sleeping authorities into action unless a multi million lawsuit finally does the trick at which point a piddling licence fee will seem like a missed opportunity to the coumncil then sitting and trying to side step the consequences of untold years of irresponsible shelving of action

Meanwhile the usual trade interests block and shelve any and all attempts to establish a commonsense discipline of rental licence regulation.

Unless the victims of unscrupulous
rental groups or landlords speak out the mold and muck and vermin will outlive this generation till people find themselves in a sort of slum

What a fine job you wafflers do for the city. Nero Fiddled ! what is YOUR choice of musical instrument ? from the amount of air you have not mustered on behalf of rental controls you would not be able to activbate even a gazoo

air you have failed to generate I guess you wont be able to activate a miniature flute