Volume 29

Strategic Housing Code Enforcement: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Improving Habitability

by Michael Weinberg

The rising cost of rent in many urban areas has forced low-income tenants to live in substandard housing. This substandard housing is connected with numerous health issues like asthma and cardiovascular disease. While more robust housing code enforcement might help alleviate this problem, many cities’ housing code enforcement agencies are too understaffed and lack the organizational structure to
effectively enforce their codes. In addition to discussing the impact that increased funding and better leadership can have, this paper proposes a new method of enforcement where regulators draw from different disciplines to proactively assess and remedy housing conditions across urban areas. In particular, this paper focuses on the use of medical-legal partnerships to identify substandard housing.

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