Charlotte, N.C., Looks to Codes to Prevent Squalid Housing

Codewatcher Charlotte uses codes to improve affordable housing

Cities are considering the use of building codes to improve dilapidated housing.

As reported by Steve Harrison on Public Radio WFAE, the city of Charlotte is considering strengthening its Minimum Housing Code Ordinance:

Today, the Lake Arbor Apartments off Tuckaseegee Road are getting help.

After residents complained about broken air conditioners, faulty wiring, bugs, rats and mold, the city repeatedly fined the property owner.  Now the property owner is trying to get all apartments in the 296-unit complex up to code.

Jason Gibbons, who is working on the complex, said he has about 30 more units to renovate. He said some apartments were in poor condition.

“How you see it now with trash everywhere in here, man. Just like it is now. When people move out, they just leave all of their stuff here…,” he said. “We have to hang up the doors in Lake Arbor apartments to try to prepare to get re-ready for people to move back in. We got a lot of work to be done.”

After the problems at Lake Arbor, the city of Charlotte is looking to strengthen its Minimum Housing Code Ordinance for the first time since 2005.

Council member Larken Egleston said Lake Arbor made council members realize the city needs stronger rules to force property owners to make repairs.

“As we looked at Lake Arbor, that’s when I think everyone realized that mold and mildew and things like that are not things that we have as much of a say on enforcing as maybe the public would have expected,” he said.

Read the full post for the new proposed rules and how they will be enforced.