Guest Column: Apartment Association raises issues with proposed ordinance

Editor’s note: The following was submitted by Rockford Apartment Association (RAA) President Paul Arena on behalf of the RAA Board of Directors.

By Paul Arena
President, Rockford Apartment Association

The board of directors of the Rockford Apartment Association would like to inform the public of our concern over a proposal for an ordinance regulating rental property. This proposed ordinance is on the Rockford City Council Codes and Regulations Committee Agenda for Monday, Nov. 26.

Our issues related to this proposal are:

• We have engaged in meetings with representatives of the city for more than four years for the purpose of coming to agreement on an ordinance to regulate rental property. We have agreed to address every concern brought to our attention by participants in those meetings.

• Three months ago, the Rockford Apartment Association, working with the Rockford Area Association of Realtors, provided the city a draft of an ordinance we support and believe would be effective in improving conditions of rental property. The ordinance we support is not the version submitted to the committee by the Larry Morrissey (I) administration.

• The version submitted by the Morrissey administration and in committee Nov. 26 was first made available for review Nov. 23.

• While addressing every issue the city has brought to our attention, we requested very limited assistance for housing providers. Our reasonable requests included the following:

• that the city make an effort to contact owners when problems occur on property;

• that there be structure to what a property owner can be compelled to do when problems exist;

• that a tenant causing code violations can be identified in the code enforcement process;

• that the mediation of problem situations be conducted by a voluntary community board to ensure fair and reasonable treatment for participants in the mediation process.

• Any accommodation provided to housing providers has been removed from the version before the Codes and Regulations Committee.

Our organization would like to move forward with an ordinance that is balanced and fair. We would like to support what becomes law and work in partnership with government to ensure its success. We want to inform the public of our desire to move forward in a positive way and ask for support to instead enact the ordinance approved by the people it will affect.

Please contact Rockford Apartment Association President Paul Arena by phone at (815) 243-2924 or e-mail at for additional information about this issue.

From the Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2012, issue

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