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Ordinance set to hold slumlords accountable and protect tenants

City Council is set to vote on the ordinance at the end of October.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans City Council is one step closer to passing an ordinance that will hold slumlords accountable and protect tenants.

Eyewitness News told you about the deplorable conditions at the Willows and Par Fontaine, this ordinance would prevent those conditions from continuing.

Andreanecia Morris from  HousingNOLA says the Healthy Homes ordinance has been in the works for nearly 10 years, she said,  “We got a lot of slumlords taking advantage of desperate people.”

She went on to say, “We keep seeing the consequences of the failure to act play out, and it still takes a year for any meaningful action, that’s got to stop.”

The ordinance will require all rentals to meet basic health and safety codes, protect tenants from retaliation after submitting complaints and require property investors to submit their business to the city.

Thursday City Council passed the ordinance at its first reading, and the council chambers, full of voices in favor for the ordinance.

Eyewitness News told you about conditions over at the Willows and Parc Fontaine, with tenants saying they’re dealing with mold, ceiling collapses, and roach infestations.

RELATED: Woman refuses to pay rent at apartment she says isn't liveable

Maxwell Ciardullo from Louisiana Fair Housing says if passed, the city will inspect properties every three years. He said, “We know so many tenants right now suffer with leaks, mold, rats. So that’s the real hammer I think in the ordinance is preventing them from continuing to rent out slum properties.”

The ordinance says property owners who don’t comply or fail inspections, will face daily fines, will have to go through the adjudication process and their property could be taken off the market.

At the ordinance's first reading Councilman JP Morell said, “What we can, and what we will do today, is make sure that apartment you are overpaying for is habitable by a human being.”

RELATED: "The unit is uninhabitable" - Residents at Parc Fontaine Apartments speak out about conditions

If you own a double and rent out the other side, this won’t impact you, it’s targeted towards those who own property as an investment.

Ciardullo saying, “Trying to make a good system that was easy for the good actors, but bad for the bad actors.”

City Council is set to vote on the ordinance at the end of October.

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