DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — City leaders agree that rental properties need improvements, but they all have a different idea of how to go about making those improvements.
Council member Sharon Pickering thinks there should be a better way of enforcing standards. She brought her concerns up during a council meeting Tuesday. One of her ideas is performing annual inspections on rental properties, but other aldermen say that would take manpower the city doesn’t have.
Danville alderman Aaron Troglia agrees there are some rental properties that need a face lift. He’s a landlord himself and knows what an unattractive rental property can do to the area.
“I think a lot of times it’s harder to rent places especially out east because there’s a lot of violent crime. If my neighbors house got shot up, I wouldn’t want to live there. It happens all the time,” said Troglia.
Aldermen are trying to figure out the right way to enforce changes. Troglia says doing annual inspections on properties would be far too much to take on. “I just don’t think that that’s an efficient way of doing it at all.”
He believes a better options would be only inspecting properties that look dilapidated.
“If the outside’s bad, then I bet the inside’s bad. I really doubt you have an immaculate home on the outside and on the inside it’s bad,” said Troglia. But he thinks the problem spans beyond landlords alone. “Some of these are homeowners also.”
Danville Area Landlords Association Vice President Jerry Hawker knows fixing properties isn’t cheap. He believes grants should be made available to help home buyers fix up homes.
“Many time those old buildings are not… it’s not feasable to repair without that grant,” said Hawker.
He says something should be done soon or things will just get worse.
“It hurts us greatly. It hurts the image, and you know, perception is reality.”
Alderwoman Pickering has talked with the mayor about creating a separate committee to address landlord concerns. She says it’s possible that committee could be launched at the start of next year.
More than 400 properties are being auctioned off tonight in Vermilion County. No one was paying taxes on them. Back taxes will be totally wiped out on the properties. The auction is happening now at Knights of Columbus Hall in Danville.