Please Support the Carlisle Rental Responsibility Ordinance

The South of South Street Neighborhood Association has crafted a Rental Responsibility Ordinance in response to a widespread concern about the safety of the borough’s residents and the growing threat of blight in their community. Carlisle is alone in not having a rental ordinance to protect its quality of life. Our significant neighbors, Mechanicsburg, Shippensburg and Newville all have ordinances. They all include registration, inspections and fees. We are not asking for anything radical, only for parity with our neighbors. Otherwise we will be welcoming the irresponsible landlords that these other communities have rejected. The ordinance is on the borough council’s Dec. 9 agenda. If this is important to you, please attend the meeting at 7 p.m., Dec. 9 at the Borough Hall, South Street. We need as many people to come out as possible to show support.  A measure like this was rejected in 1995 & it has taken 15 years to try again.  You can help it to pass this time!

Executive Summary

Action Plan

Support the Rental Responsibility Ordinance

Take action for the health and safety of Carlisle — invest in your neighborhood by holding owners of rental properties accountable. This ordinance will benefit, landlords, homeowners and tenants.

A coalition of Carlisle’s neighborhood associations hope to present the borough council with a model ordinance on Dec. 9.

Why? Accountability is good for landlords, homeowners and tenants.

Some facts:

  • #1 complaint of residents of homeowners in the Elm Street Neighborhood: “Absentee landlord issues/problems.
  • #1 Priority according to August 2010 Joint Meeting of Carlisle Neighborhood Associations: the “need for rental licensing & inspections.”
  • According to the 2000 Census, there are 3,659 (49.3%) owner occupied housing units and 3,767 (50.7%) renter occupied housing units in the Borough.
  • Homeowner’s note adjacent properties in extreme disrepair, creating health and safety issues in addition to decreasing the value of neighboring properties.
  • Problem rental properties often mean problem tenants: ex. Disruptive/noisy neighbors, drug dealing, vicious or roaming dogs. These problems are reported regularly at the Neighborhood Association meetings.
  • Carlisle’s neighbors, such as Newville, Mechanicsburg and Shippensburg, long ago adopted rental ordinances; Carlisle is in effect welcoming the irresponsible landlords that those communities reject. We are already seeing the effect in our neighborhoods and that blight will only worsen, threatening not only the heritage entrusted to us but also the safety of tenants living in deteriorating housing.

What’s in it for landlords, homeowners and tenants?

Property Owners/Landlords

  • Increased Property Value
  • Encourage Responsible Tenant behavior
  • Tool for Enforcement of Codes
  • Tool for Eviction, if needed.
  • Tool for ensuring that all Carlisle landlords maintain rental property.
  • Well maintained property attracts responsible tenants.

Tenants

  • Decent Housing
  • Incentive for Neighborly Behavior
  • Tool for Enforcement of Codes
  • Increases Quality of Life

Property Owners/Neighbors

  • Increased Property Values
  • Peaceful Neighbors
  • Tool for Enforcement of Codes
  • Increases Quality of Life

How can I help to make this happen?

  1. Plan to Go to the borough meeting on Dec. 9th. We hope If  the Rental Responsibility Ordinance is on the agenda that night, and if so, the opposition will be there. In 1995, the rental ordinance proposed was literally shouted down at borough hall by landlord groups. Haven’t we had enough of bluster and intimidation determining our public policy? Stay tuned for further details on this meeting.
  2. Call and e-mail council members NOW. Make sure your borough council represents the residents of Carlisle, not just absentee landlords. Organized landlord groups have been “ringing council phones off the hook” since The Sentinel published a story on the rental ordinance. Find their contact information below.
  3. Commit to talking to at least five neighbors. Ask them to call council and show up for borough meetings (this might take more than one meeting). Ask for their stories of either renting from negligent landlords or living near one of their properties. Tell their stories to council, newspapers and to your association members. We need to keep the pressure on council and to be taken seriously.
  4. Write letters to the editor: Write The Sentinel and The Patriot-News with why landlords should be held accountable to the condition of their properties, follow local code rules and be responsive to those who live near their properties
  5. Call your council members again and ask them whether they support their constituents or irresponsible landlords who make a buck at the expense of the health and safety of residents — whether we own or rent our homes.
Cecconello, Linda (h) 245-2153 lcecconello@carlislepa.org
Grell, Don (h) 249-3872 dgrell@carlislepa.org
Heath, Perry (h) 243-8562 pheath@carlislepa.org
Kronenberg, Bill (w) 249-1911 wkronenberg@carlislepa.org
Rankin, Frank (h) 245-0854 frankin@carlislepa.org
Scott, Tim (h) 258-6144
Shultz, Sean (w)249-5373 sshultz@carlislepa.org
Wilson, Kirk (h) 243-9268 kwilson@carlislepa.org
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