New inspection rules could mean safer living conditions in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro city leaders are considering an ordinance that could improve housing safety through inspections.

Greensboro City Council member Justin Outling said Tuesday that a draft ordinance would give city staff the ability to do more thorough inspections by allowing them to look at the entire building when they inspect individual apartments.

"If a single unit in a multi-unit or family property has a serious health and safety issue then the city would have the power to inspect other units in that same building,” he said.

Outling said city staff plan to meet on Friday to discuss the ordinance on Friday, one week after renters at Summit Avenue Apartments were evacuated from their condemned buildings.

Several months ago, five children were killed at the complex in an accidental cooking fire.

“There have been discussions about these topics for years obviously when there are incidents in which people lose their lives people take attention from those situations and puts things in a clear focus,” Outling said.

The ordinance would also allow staff to periodically inspect areas considered blighted by the city. Outling explained that the ordinance was a collaborative effort with other organizations like the Greensboro Housing Coalition.

"I think this this is the right policy at the right time to move the community forward and address substandard housing,” he said.

Outling said council is expected to vote on the measure sometime in October.

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