The Perceived Illegality of Inspection Practices by Building Inspectors

I have been advocating for more then a decade and half the housing crimes of some of the property owners and city inspector’s here in the city of Manchester, NH. I have two public access programs where I speak to these concerns as well as other needs of the community as a whole.

One of the programs I do is a Live Talk show. It is an hour and half in length. It allows for anyone to call in and address a concern they may have or share an opinion on whatever remarks I speak to during the program.

On one such occasion a man called in and spoke to the subject of an experience he had while on the job moving furniture. He was moving a family into an apartment. He stated the apartment was so roach infested when he got home he had to throw what he was wearing away. He spoke to the well known fact that there is a housing shortage for low income families and peoples.

He wasn’t making excuses but he was irate at the fact that he had to help move in a family who did not obviously receive a well inspected, clean code compliant apartment.

This over used excuse for these circumstances is just that, an over used excuse of not doing the job correctly, according to code compliance dictates. Personal prejudices should not be part of these so called inspections or any legal function.

The perceived fact that there appears to be a shortage of housing for low income families should not and does not make valid the filthy roach infested rental apartments of this city.

How do these inspector’s get away with this year after year? Why are they allowed to get away with this year after year? How and why do they get to keep their job’s when time after time it is as plain as the nose on anyone’s face that something very wrong is ongoing and going on in these practices of issuing code compliance certificates to landlords/property owners who are so grossly out of code in just about every area of housing needs.

Why are they allowed to get away with these violations? Why are resettlement agency’s which by the way are federally funded meaning your tax dollars at work not held to the standard’s of this city’s housing code compliance dictates? It would appear they are in the busines of being in the housing business solely for the paycheck and the funding by federal means. All one has to do to verify these remarks is go the website of the E.P.A. and click onto the many negative experiences of human beings who have been forced to live in these life threatening non-code complaint circumstances. American as well as newcomers to this city. Buildings filled with roaches, rodents, broken windows, doors, flooring, decks that sag when weight is applied to them. Wiring, plumbing. Luxury is not what one is looking for in these concerns, but rather the application of the existing housing codes to the positive instead of to the negative. Children dying. Children adversely affected by indoor air pollution which contains the degraded fine powder of lead paint, mold spores, dust mites and many other types of unseen poor air quality components. Causing handicaps at the very early stages of their young lives. Mental retardation as a consequence of lead paint poisoning to their brains. Air vents ladened with these layers of years of accumulated pollutants. It costs less then $200.00 a year to clean Air Vents in an apartment. Furnaces which have not been maintained in decades. A fire waiting to happen. Carbon monoxide poisoning. Another yet provided item of safety for the tenant, not supplied by the owner/landlord.

It suggests that some landlords are willing to take in low income families as tenant’s from these so called housing agencies because they already know they will not be made to comply with the required housing code compliance other property owners and landlords must comply with if they are to operate as a housing source.

That this thinking somehow gives these landlords and the people who run these housing agencies the right to put unsuspecting tenant’s in harm’s way of a mercilous property owner who’s only interest is the money he/she will make from these housing programs.

It is almost as if some of the officials and inspector’s of this city’s inspection department are employed for the specific purpose of keeping run down/slum properties available for low income tenancies so as to meet the housing needs of low income families. Perhaps implying because it involves low income family housing that these tenant’s do not deserve a clean, safe code compliant living environment. That roaches, rodents, indoor air pollution, unsafe steps, decks and out of date wiring, lead paint contamination in all of its forms, dirty water from out of date plumbing, broken windows, etc., etc., etc. are what these families deserve. Therefore it justifies the negative illegal practices of this community’s housing inspector’s and commissioner of housing. Pet kennels are better kept then some of these apartments of human habitation.

Obeying the rules does not appear to be the rule. It appears to be the extreme exception. For every one decent humane, law abiding landlord or property owner there are at least half a dozen who will not comply and still operate as a business. The business of violating and receiving housing code complaint certificates by the very inspector’s and officer’s of the Manchester City Building Department appears to be very profitable for both sides of these housing issues. Quid Pro Quo of the worst kind.

How would any of you like to have to move into an apartment or dwelling teeming with roaches? The unclean, unsanitary and unkempt living circumstances for which your landlord or property owner will be paid rent for providing your none code compliant housing needs?

It would appear that City Hall does not mind paying housing employee’s for not doing their jobs. No accounting apears to be required when the perception of wrong doing has occurred past, present and without a doubt well into the future for some of this city’s inhabitants.

Human life appears to be expendible especially among the most fragile and helpless. Children, people with disabilities and those who out of fear remain silent not wishing to incur intimidation and or retaliation even though this too is against the law.

I cannot help but wonder if part of the process of qualifying for a job at certain levels of City Hall governing one must have no conscience, no true work ethic or integrity. Just a blind eye and deaf ear to the needs of their responsibility and to foster those of some of this city’s worst slum low income housing owners and operators.

Isn’t life supposed to be protected? Is it not against criminal law to put a person or persons lives in jeopardy? What is the difference between the source of the killing method and the law? A gun, a knife, a car, a baseball bat. These are the obvious weapons of life threatening and taking. Shouldn’t the same apply to a housing inspector and a property owner who with callous disregard and premeditation puts a human life in jeopardy when they operate outside of the rules of code compliance and a child dies or is adversely affected by the very space they live in?

Isn’t putting a human life in danger against the law anymore? Contributing to the mental dysfunction of a defenseless child because he or she was exposed in an apartment contaminated in the long term by indoor air pollutions, thus impeding their brain to develop normally. Causing mental retardation in children from infancy to pre-school ages of 5 and6 years of age?

If one has no conscience, then should not the law be upheld even more so? So has to keep under control those who will not enforce the law or abide by it? Should they not be weeded out and removed from their positions because they do not comply with operational housing protocol’s?

The term slum landlord is a contradiction in terms. As naive as this may sound. If housing codes were more diligently enforced, there might well be no such thing as a slum landlord. But as we all know this too is a contradiction in terms. These circumstances are decades old, even centuries old. So I ask, why? Why aren’t these codes better enforced? How can this continue? How many more children need to die? How many more may become victims of exposure to deadly air pollutions inhibiting their normal growth patterns and setting them off into a world of pain, suffering and life long disability’s??

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