Temple students offer strategies for addressing unsafe, unhealthy housing

Serious code violations — leaking roofs, broken windows, rodents, non-functioning heaters, lead paint, exposed wiring, and other unsafe conditions — are common in rental units across Philadelphia, according to Strategies to Address Unsafe and Unhealthy Housing in Philadelphia, a new report authored by Temple law students.   But, the report says, Philadelphia’s new city administration could make strategic changes that would create healthier and safer housing.

The report, prepared under the supervision of Nan Feyler, Visiting Professor of Law and the City’s former Deputy Commissioner for Public Health Programs, provides detailed recommendations for making sure that all landlords have up-to-date rental licenses; strengthening enforcement of the property maintenance code; taking a proactive approach to inspections, rather than waiting for formal complaints; and devoting more funds to the Department of Licensing & Inspections.

The report also describes effective approaches taken by Oakland, Boston, Rochester, and other cities with similar health and safety problems.  The students presented their report in a meeting with City officials on April 20th.