Policy recommendations for rooming houses


  • Make evictions fast for rooming houses, so that owners can enforce zero tolerance for crime and other negative behavior.
  • Require mandatory rent escrowing for code violations, so that marginal housing gets protected from malicious property damage and unchecked rent withholding.
  • Stop the games that health inspectors play to keep code violations on the books and put owners out of business. Make them give notice and document their re-inspections.
  • Make the building and safety requirements for rooming houses uniform and clear.
  • Make the zoning of rooming houses clear: where they are permitted, where they are not permitted. End ambiguous zoning and the overly broad latitude for neighborhood interference.
  • Direct government resources to programs for the 20% who are chronically homeless.
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