SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: July 8, 2010
CONTACT: Jennifer Stone (619) 531-4766
COUNTY ROOTS OUT CRIME AT PROBLEM RENTAL PROPERTIES
Jacob, Gore proposal makes safety program mandatory at troublesome spots
SAN DIEGO – A celebrated San Diego County Sheriff’s Department program that has achieved success turning around problem apartment complexes soon will be mandatory for landlords whose rental properties generate frequent visits from law enforcement.
At the request of Supervisor Dianne Jacob and Sheriff Bill Gore, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance last week that would require certification in the Crime Free Multi-housing Program for owners of rental dwellings that rack up at least 10 calls for service in any three month period.
The certification requirement would apply only to properties with a disproportionate number of service calls when compared with similar rental properties.
Supervisor Jacob praised the Crime Free Multi-housing Program for making a dramatic dent in crime, particularly in Spring Valley. The program pairs deputies with landlords to make security improvements and deal with problem tenants. Deputies train landlords to root out drug and alcohol-related crime.
“We’ve seen landlords create a whole new sense of community by making positive, quality-of-life changes to complexes,” said Supervisor Jacob. “When a tenant signs a lease, that tenant promises not to engage in illegal activity. If they do, they face eviction. This is the hammer we need to clean up communities.”
Spring Valley resident Debbie Gilly, a strong supporter of the program, described living across the street from a complex once plagued by street fights, riots, burglaries, mail theft and physical violence.
“We suffered greatly for over two years at the hands of thugs, criminals, drug dealers, gangsters and out-of-control teens that terrorized our neighborhood,” said Gilly. “If it wasn’t for the brave Sheriff’s Department, our neighborhood would still be infested with these gangsters and criminals,” Gilly said.
The ordinance was crafted in consultation with the San Diego County Apartment Association. Final adoption is expected on July 13. The ordinance would take effect 30 days after that.