A yearlong crackdown on illegal apartments has resulted in 154 citations to landlords for renting substandard housing.
Mayor Bob Henderson called the program, which will continue indefinitely, a success and said the results exceeded expectations. "We're getting rid of a lot of illegal units as well as neighborhood problems of overcrowding. It's sort of like a disease in the neighborhood . . . in some places it spread like wildfire," Henderson said.
Most of the illegal apartments are converted garages or apartments improperly subdivided into smaller units. The residences typically lack proper electrical wiring, plumbing and heating.
City inspectors accelerated efforts to investigate complaints of illegal apartments last July. Many complaints came from tenants of the illegal housing or from residents living nearby.
Once the city cites a landlord, the tenant must be evicted. The landlord must pay the tenant's moving costs and as much as two months rent for a new apartment.
The city budgets about $90,000 a year to administer the abatement program, officials said.