Erie City Council is one step closer towards extending a rental-inspection program for local landlords.
On Wednesday evening, council met for a first reading of the ordinance.
The program has been in place since 2007. It calls for landlords to pay $40 a year for every rental unit. Their buildings are then inspected every two years. Council says that they created this program, to battle "slum landlords."
We're told, the program promotes health and safety at each apartment unit. However, last year, the Northwest Pennsylvania Apartment Association filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the program is unfair because it charges too much to help boost the city's general fund.
But according to Erie City Council President Jim Winarski that's not true.
"That number fluctuates year after year," said Winarski. "Some years it may look like they're making money, then after years they are losing money. But there is no money at this point, where the city is making any off this. But right now, we're going to have a study session and see where their count is on it."
Council is expected to vote on the ordinance before March 31. If passed, it will be in place until 2017.