Belleville “Crime-Free Housing” ordinance goes before city council tonight
(KTVI) – Belleville has spend almost a year debating a “crime-free housing” ordinance. It’s an ordinance that many Missouri and Illinois communities have had in effect for years. Monday night, it goes before the full city council for a vote.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the ordinance is similar to many in other communities in that it would require rental owners or landlords to take a class to obtain a ‘crime-free housing’ certificate.
They would also need to register each rental unit yearly for $25. City officials will use that money and funds from violations to hire another housing department police officer and upgrade the police department’s records management system.
If there’s a problem tenant and no solution can be found, the landlord would begin the eviction process. Those in favor say the ordinance will force landlords to be accountable for tenants’ actions while also keeping city officials aware of any troublesome properties. they say with will improve the quality of life for everyone, tenants and neighbors.
Opponents say the ordinance targets renters and could lead to profiling, which would inadvertently affect victims of crime and domestic abuse. Alderman Jim Davidson says the majority of renters in Belleville are good, but a bad tenant could effect everyone on a street. He is in favor of the ordinance.
The ordinance is modeled after a national program that some St. Louis metro cities are successfully using right now.