Bloomington City Council members are trying to figure out a way to handle chronic housing code violations like adjusting fines. This idea came after a fire last month inside an apartment building that had more than 250 violations during it's inspection last September. But Bloomington fire investigators say accidental cooking caused the February 10th fire. There were 12 apartments but only seven were occupied. Authorities said everyone got out safely. But under the city's property rules apartments are inspected only once every three years if there are no complaints lodged against the landlord. One of the former tenants said they had to make improvements before moving inside their apartment in October.
"When we first seen the apartment, there were no handrails, no smoke detectors, there was water leakage, we saw roaches, but we needed a place to go quickly so my mom went over before we moved in. she repainted, put in a new floor in the kitchen," said Atavia Brown.
"What we're finding on some of the chronic violators is that the waiver of those fines towards the end of the process may best be utilized for completion of the projects that best address the tenants needs," said Bloomington Interim Community Development Director Robert Mahrt.
We reached out to the landlord from the who owns the apartment building on Gettysburg Street, but he did not return our phone calls. Bloomington's City Council is working on improvements in the rental inspection program.