Push Continues for Tougher Housing Rules in Hartford

For the first time in decades, the city is considering updates its housing rules to enhance safety and cleanliness.

Supporters hope they are close to the city of Hartford adopting tougher rules for housing for the first time in about four decades.

“I feel good. I feel good,” said Joshua Serrano, a community organizer. “With the goal of keeping the bad apples in check as residents and keep the slumlords out of our city.”

After helping to launch the “No Slumlords Campaign,” he’s fought for two years for better living conditions for Hartford tenants.

“They know the voiceless now have a voice,” said Serrano.

NBC Connecticut investigated the issues including the city previously citing the Barbour Garden apartments with pages of previous violations.

On Monday at a public hearing, people including Pastor AJ Johnson spoke in support of the rule fixes including making sure landlords are properly identified.

“If you’re going to come in and purchase property and invest in this city we need to know who you are so we can hold you accountable,” said Johnson.

Some believe the proposal still needs some tweaks.

But most seemed overall in favor of the revision to the code which aims to improve safety and cleanliness through licensing and inspections.

“We listened to the constituents and we understand we have more work to do. This is the start,” said Hartford City Councilor rJo Winch (D).

Also among the crowd was longtime Hartford landlord Helen Nixon who says she trying to do the right thing.

“I do know we need some changes but I just want to make sure when we make these changes everybody benefits, the tenants and the landlords,” said Nixon.

Councilors expect the proposal to be voted on at the next full meeting, which is scheduled for next Monday.

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