Recently, the city council had a chance to help ensure the prevention of housing blight.
It was just one tool that the city could use, but the council decided to remain silent on the matter, which in its own way spoke volumes.
At issue was a proposal by the city administration – through the city’s manager’s office – to require homeowners to have inspections of their properties before selling them.
The argument for the proposal was that a number of houses change hands in cash-only deals, and that often means there is no inspection performed.
A number of people are satisfied with purchasing a house without getting an inspection. That is rolling the dice.
By requiring an inspection, the argument goes, homeowners are forced to make needed improvements before selling their homes.
It’s a win for the purchaser — and the city.
Why a win for the city?
Because the city can halt the ongoing issue of bad houses being sold to other persons.
Those opposed say that it’s up to the buyer to do an inspection, if they opt to.
Just about no one does that if they aren’t required to.
You may think it’s overreach for the city to demand an inspection, but had this proposal gone through, it would have created a major hurdle for slumlords.
The council, instead of discussing the proposal, chose to drop the matter entirely.
Consider this an opportunity lost for helping to ensure the health and safety of Hamtramckans. The council’s inaction is a signal to slumlords to carry on — because we don’t care.
Posted Sept. 24, 2021