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Government and People
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
Mayor Takes Action Against Negligent Landlords
(Washington, DC) Today in Columbia Heights, Mayor Anthony A. Williams announced an aggressive plan to force owners of dangerous and unsanitary apartment buildings to make repairs or face shut down and criminal prosecution.
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has compiled an initial list of SO "neglected properties" through out the city found to have unacceptable living conditions for tenants. In this first phase, the neglected properties enforcement action, the city is targeting seven properties cited repeatedly for both routine and emergency code violations. The properties represent some of the most dangerous and unsanitary conditions in the city, including rat and roach infestations, broken windows, inadequate toilet and kitchen facilities, exposed wiring holes in floors and walls, and trash accumulation.
"We must act decisively, swiftly and humanely to address this problem," said Mayor Williams. "Our job is to ensure basic quality of life standards, including safe, decent and sanitary housing facilities. We will continue this effort, using every available resource to rid communities of substandard buildings and secure safe housing for residents. This initiative illustrates how serious we are about fulfilling this responsibility. It doesn't end here; it begins here."
Property owners have the sole responsibility for routine maintenance and repairs of their buildings, and the are accountable for complying with housing laws. Violators will be assessed the cost of fines, penalties, relocation expenses and any structural repairs made by the government. The city also will prosecute repeat and grossly negligent offenders, and will pursue civil injunctive relief.
The District Columbia government is legally required to close dangerous and uninhabitable buildings. Under the new initiative, the District will also help house displaced families. City social service agencies are working in partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer Section 8 vouchers to displaced residents while properties are brought up to code.
NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM SUBSTANDARD PROPERTIES LIST
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