Mayor shares housing task force work
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On his 613th day in office, Mayor Malik Evans wanted to update us on what City Hall is doing about housing.
When it came time for questions, we challenged the mayor on the effect his policies are having. And then the mayor challenged us.
Here’s the mayor’s housing checklist.
- a vacant house registry with fines attached.
- a land bank that can save fixable homes.
- a score card on rental properties so renters can know what they’re getting into.
- and a demolition campaign that doubled the number of demolition hearings and tore down 60 buildings this year.
“We should not have people living in dilapidated structures that none of us standing up here or any of you sitting out there would want to live in,” Mayor Evans said. “That has to be the standard.”
Brean: “Mayor, you’ve gone over changes, positive changes. Do you think the people who live in the city and work in the city are feeling that right now?”
Mayor: “I think people are seeing it and feeling it but people won’t be satisfied until there are zero dilapidated and vacant structures because, guess what? If you still live in a property that hasn’t been addressed, yet you’re saying ‘that’s nice what the mayor just said but they haven’t gotten to mine yet.'”
Then the mayor challenged me and it showed how dire the situation is in some neighborhoods.
He picked zip code 14605, the neighborhoods along Clinton, Joseph and Hudson avenues.
Mayor: “What’s the median income in the 14605 zip code, Berkeley? Take a guess. What’s the median income?”
Mayor: “Boom! Right on. That’s exactly what it is. $18,000.”
The federal poverty line for a family of four is $30,000.
“You might be living in a property where all you can afford is a property that is dilapidated and run down and you’re scared that if you say something about it you may be out and not have anywhere to live,” the mayor said. “You’re not going to be satisfied yet. You’re not feeling it yet. That’s why we give these updates. The updates are to provide fuel to say we are working to get to everyone.”
The city has a landlord and tenant bill of rights and responsibilities.