City leaders work to improve oversights in inspection of Greensboro apartment complex

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- City leaders say they are working to improve oversight of computer databases and inspection records after a filing error came to their attention this week.

The City Manager's Office says there was a discrepancy in reporting re-inspections at Heritage House, a 177-unit apartment rental facility off West Meadowview Road near Randleman Road in Greensboro.

The complex gained attention last December when police said the address was connected to more than 1,000 calls in 2012. At the time, Greensboro residents petitioned the city to inspect Heritage House for code violations.

60 of the 177 units were in compliance with city code; the others had a range of violations.

"City Inspectors have been systematically working through the ones that had violations," said Sue Schwartz, Greensboro's Director of Planning and Community Development.

"That's our goal in this office. To get all facilities up to compliance," she explained.

This week, however, Schwartz said there was a "false alarm" when it came to re-inspections of the Heritage House property.

City computer databases indicated that many of follow-up inspections at Heritage House were never done. However, Schwartz said, that wasn't the case.

She told FOX8 inspectors did go out to Heritage House for the re-inspections, but because of human error the updates were never entered into the computer system.

Community leader Ben Holder noticed the discrepancies in inspection reports and pointed it out earlier in the week.

City Officials are referring to the situation as a clerical error, one they are hoping will not happen again.

"It's not the professional standard we want to see. We've expressed that several times. We are taking steps to ensure it does not happen again," Schwartz added.

She said those steps include increasing the frequency of checking the computer database and increasing the number of people who can oversee and double-check the database.

In addition, Schwartz said the City posted a job last week for a code compliance coordinator to assist with analyzing trends and data. She hopes that will lead to less human error.

Now, some inspectors will go back out to Heritage House to follow-up with all reports and make sure code violations are being fixed.

Right now, 12 units at Heritage House have been condemned and must be vacated by the end of April. Some still need repairs.

The majority are now listed as "in compliance" with city codes. Schwartz said the city computer database is also updated to reflect this year's re-inspections at Heritage House.

"We appreciate the discrepancy that was found and we want to double-check and ensure we're doing what we need to be doing," she concluded.

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