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Council members to announce new rental enforcement project

Thursday, August 27, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

This morning at 8:30 a.m., City Council Members Greg Casar, Leslie Pool and Ann Kitchen will hold a press conference to announce a new budget proposal. The Residents’ Advocacy Project is designed to improve how the city handles dangerous rental properties and short-term rental enforcement. According to a press release about the new program, “This initiative would utilize $350,000 from the proposed budget of the Austin Code Department for a contract to fund outreach positions and legal support to address major violations of substandard and dangerous conditions in rental properties. Furthermore the proposal will empower the City’s Law Department and Code Department to pursue litigation to provide relief for tenants and neighborhoods from dangerous rental properties and persistently non-compliant STR operators.” The press release goes on to explain that the city would contract with a nonprofit legal organization that would perform outreach and education about tenants’ rights and bring forward complaints about unsafe building conditions. Though the proposal is budget-neutral, it will be discussed during the budget process, which will continue today with a public hearing and is set to conclude Sept. 10.

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