Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New City Website to Hold Slumlords Accountable!

Remember this garage?
Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.  Stock photos are of Gregge Johnson properties, as he was a north Minneapolis slumlord who is listed on this website.  Another Johnson link can be found here.

Several months ago, city officials had spoken both privately and at Councilmember Hofstede's 3rd Ward CARE meetings about the prospect of creating a "Slumlord Hall of Shame" on the Minneapolis city website.  Even though the plan was discussed openly, northside bloggers held off on announcing anything prematurely due to the fact that the city attorney's office and others were reviewing exactly what kind of content would be there.

Well, the link is live now.

In all honesty, this so far seems too dry.  I was hoping for something closer to the Allentown,  PA website, which goes right to the point and calls it a Hall of Shame.  In one instance, the Allentown mayor took a sledgehammer to a slumlord's building as part of a ceremonial start to the demolition process.  Their website shows the dilapidated buildings of slumlords and also posts pictures of the ritzy houses where they either live or receive mail. 

Here's what Mayor Pawlowski said about a recent inductee: “Mr. Miller is not being a good neighbor nor is he meeting his financial obligations to the city,” said Pawlowski. “At last check, he owes water and sewer bills on three properties in the city totaling more than $32,000. He owes more than $4,000 in fines for code violation cases. He owes more than $1600 in SWEEP violations on his three properties. He does not have an active rental license.”

It sure would be nice if our mayor went on record and publicly shamed slumlords who were costing our city over $35,000 in unpaid fines. Northside bloggers could focus our efforts on other things then.  But this site for Minneapolis is a good beginning.  For one thing, it starts to come up with empirical, standardized ways to classify someone as a slumlord.  Hopefully its features are expanded, and that one day we'll be able to search the city database using property owner names as criteria.

9 comments:

  1. Odd, your favorite slumlords don't seem to be too prominent on those lists. Guess you have been barking up the wrong trees. But I'm positive you'll disagree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I clicked on the link, and there was an error that popped up. So has this link since been removed?

      Delete
  2. Well, anon 9:12 you are correct that I disagree. My least favorite slumlords aren't on this list YET. And hopefully after Koenig's lawsuit is settled, he won't own any more properties in Minneapolis and therefore won't even need to be on here.

    This website, its lists and criteria, are a beginning of a process to hold slumlords publicly accountable. That process gained much of its momentum from grassroots efforts such as the NoMi blogosphere. We'll keep on reporting especially on the ones not yet on the city's radar.

    A landlord's absence from these lists on the first day the site is live does not mean they have a stellar track record.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Koenig doesn't own property in NoMi....he put them in trusts to dodge the list.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Semantics, but are any of his entities on the list?

    And a blog post about more court docs is coming soon...

    ReplyDelete
  5. The website in question is, as you say, quite dry.

    But of course, we bloggers are free to grab this data, run with it, get the pictures and post them. Some of this stuff being posted is a revelation. It gives us the names of slumlords we need to highlight who have flown under our radar.

    I'm glad the city has taken this step and I hope they keep it updated, unlike the city attorney website which has been allowed to fall by the wayside and become useless as far as posting about criminals, victim impact statements, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I should also point out...

    That list is, to some degree, history. Those are slumlords who have already had their licenses revoked. Obviously, we're concentrating on slumlords who NEED to have their licenses revoked.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like there is still a Jordan Hawkman facebook profile. This time with an angry black man's face. I'm still reporting it as not a real person.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The city's website changed from www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us to a much less clunky www.minneapolismn.gov. The problem here is that they somehow couldn't spare the extra code to make links to the old address port over to the same parts of the new city address.

    I pondered going back and fixing my blog posts, but there were simply too many links to get at. This is definitely an important one to update, as the site is still active. And if readers find other links in need of updating, let me know.

    The new link is http://www.minneapolismn.gov/inspections/inspections_accountable and the blog post has been changed accordingly.

    ReplyDelete