FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/05/2010
Rep. Bohac Reports Progress With Apartment Inspection Program
Phase one of project is complete
HOUSTON, TEXAS - The city of Houston has completed phase one of its apartment inspection program which required apartment owners to register their multi-family properties with the Public Works and Engineering Department. State Representative Dwayne Bohac (Houston) and State Senator Rodney Ellis (Houston) worked together to pass the legislation requiring the city of Houston to create minimum habitability standards for all multi-family units in the city limits as well as a regular inspection program.
Bohac and Ellis worked with city officials, local leaders and other stakeholders to pass the legislation during the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature. Subsequently, former City Councilmember Toni Lawrence led the Regulation, Development and Neighborhood Protection Committee in the drafting and passage of the ordinance that implemented the Bohac/Ellis Bill. The new ordinance was unanimously adopted by the city council in the latter part of 2009.
The ordinance established habitability standards and a regular inspection program for the roughly 4,000 apartment complexes in Houston. The program will inspect for over 45 different items, including structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other safety and aesthetic conditions.
"Apartment owners who allow their properties to deteriorate are going to be held accountable for their negligence," said Bohac. "This will also give those apartment owners who maintain their properties a chance to showcase their product and use a high rating to attract new tenants."
Apartment owners began registering their properties December 1st and registration ended on January 31st. After this registration process, the city will compile a list for proactive inspections that will begin April 1st.
The inspection program will start with the oldest apartment complexes and those who failed to register with the city. After this initial round of inspections, all other properties will be inspected on a regular, cyclical basis.
"These standards and inspections will ensure that the estimated 1 million Houstonians who live in apartments have a home that is safe and secure. Neighborhoods in close proximity to the units will benefit as well," said Bohac. “It’s the right thing to do for apartment residents and homeowners alike.”
Representative Dwayne Bohac