Commission Hears about Rental Housing Inspection Plan
At this week’s meeting, the city commission listened to a plan to implement a registration, licensing, and inspection program for rental housing in the city of Pierre.
The goal of the program is to make sure rental housing is meeting basic health, life and safety standards.
Ian Paul, Pierre Fire Chief, says that recent incidents in Pierre have emphasized the need for a program like this.
“We have had a number of rental unit structure fires in the last several years,” said Chief Paul. “They led to questions about basic safety standards, so we’re taking a more proactive approach to elevate the livability of rental units in town.”
The plan calls for all non-owner occupied rental structures within the city of Pierre to be registered and licensed annually and inspected at least every five years. Through a partnership with the city, the Pierre Housing and Redevelopment Commission would provide the inspectors.
“They’ll make sure units have smoke detectors, proper egress, appropriate dryer venting, and other basics that make for a healthy and safe living environment,” said Paul. “If standards aren’t being met, the city building department will work with the owners to bring the units into compliance.”
To educate rental owners and renters alike about the proposed program, the city is hosting three informational meetings. All three will be held in the Dakota Room at River Cities Transit, 1600 E. Dakota Avenue. Times and dates of the meetings are below.
- July 8 10:00 a.m.
- July 9 12:00 p.m.
- July 12 5:30 p.m.
“We’ll walk through the program –how registration and licensing will look, as well as the inspection checklist,” said Twila Hight, City Finance Director.
“I really encourage interested people to come to the meetings. It’s the public’s chance to ask questions and understand how the program may or may not impact them.”
The city commission took no action on the proposed plan at this week’s meeting. Following the three informational meetings, city staff will request commission action on an ordinance needed to establish the program.