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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
March 15, 2001
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Mike Merwick, Building and Safety, 441-6457 Joel Gajardo, Hispanic Center, 474-3950

Task Force Recommend Mailings to Duplex Residents
Building and Safety Department to also increase minority outreach

A task force appointed by Mayor Don Wesely to study the potential licensing of duplexes has recommended that the Building and Safety Department provide information on housing codes to residents of duplexes. As an initial effort, Building and Safety will mail brochures on the Minimum Housing Code to 20 to 50 percent of duplex residents.

"The mailing will help provide information on whether there is a need to license duplexes in the same way apartment buildings are licensed," said Wesely.

Mike Merwick, Director of Building and Safety, said the department will keep track of any complaints reported and has streamlined the process to notify landlords of alleged violations. The Law Department will review code changes to allow for reinspection fees and shortening the repair time allowed.

The task force also recommended that the Building and Safety Department strengthen its efforts to provide information on the housing code to the Hispanic, Indian and Asian communities. The department released a Spanish version of the Minimum Housing Code with the assistance of the Urban Development Department and the Hispanic Community Center.

"Having the Minimum Housing Code is Spanish is long overdue," Wesely said. "This outreach to the Spanish-speaking residents of Lincoln is an important consumer issue for the largest minority group in our city."

"This brochure provides the Spanish-speaking owner or tenant of rental property with the information needed to determine if the residence meets the housing code," said Merwick. "The brochures explains examples of substandard conditions that should be corrected, potential structural problems and problems in plumbing, electrical and heating systems."

Merwick said the department is studying the need to print brochures in more languages.

The Spanish brochures are available at:

Spanish-speaking citizens with questions about the housing code are asked to call the Hispanic Center at 474-3950. Questions can also be directed to the Housing Code Section at 441-7785.

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