Wheeling council should quickly move a rental registration/inspection program forward.
It is long overdue.
Despite landlord posturing and threatening, there is no excuse for substandard housing that can't meet the most basic health and safety standards.
There are all sorts of ridiculous "what if"s being tossed around (what if...tenants use complaints to harass landlords....tenants themselves tear out detectors...etc).
Another concern is whether some tenants, upset with landlords for one reason or another, would file frivolous complaints. (Intelligencer editorial 8/26/17)
These are red herrings to misdirect us from the issue of protecting basic safety of citizens.
I've seen no suggestion, indication, or inclination to force all rentals to meet "Woodsdale" standards. There's no talk of gentrification, only of making sure roofs are not leaking and smoke detectors are installed.
Who would oppose that?
And why would such basic requirements raise anyone's rent?
While Hagan made her case on behalf of tenants, Coogan said many of those tenants may end up homeless if the city proceeds with the program because he said it will force landlords to increase rent. (Intelligencer 8/23/17)
If a landlord isn't already protecting his tenants, what kind of landlord is he?
A bad one.
Good landlords already provide the basic protections and should welcome any program that forces less-than-scrupulous ones to do the same.
Wheeling Council should finalize their plan, listen to any reasonable suggestions for modifications and then put the new regulations in place.
A progressive city that cares for ALL of its citizens deserves them.