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Batavia’s crime-free housing program could expand

BATAVIA – City staff members are recommending that Batavia’s crime-free housing program be renamed and expanded to include more rental buildings within the city.

Aldermen will discuss the issue at 7:30 p.m. today at the Joint Committee of the Whole meeting at the Batavia Government Center, 100 S. Island Ave., Batavia.

Batavia aldermen in September 2011 approved the two-year pilot program, which ends this year. City staff recommends the program be made permanent, and that it be renamed “City of Batavia Rental Property Licensing Program” to show a more comprehensive approach to rental licensing activity.

Under the current program, landlords must include a crime-free lease addendum that makes criminal activity a violation and grounds for eviction.

That includes murder, drug-related criminal activity, prostitution and unlawful use of weapons. The addendum covers residents and their guests.

Right now, the program is in effect only for apartment complexes of 10 or more units. Staff is recommending the program be expanded to include those buildings or complexes that are six units or larger.

Staff also proposed that a building or complex would need to pass a property maintenance inspection of the exterior of the buildings grounds and the common areas within the building before the owner is issued a rental property license.

“Staff feels that this program as amended will further increase the safety and quality of rental housing in the city,” Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening said in a memo to aldermen.

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