Page One

Don’t exempt Section 8

Vicki Larrick
Friday June 28, 2002

To the Editor: 

Berkeley has imposed a new Rental Housing Safety Inspection Program. It is heavy in paperwork and intrudes on tenant's privacy. It requires an annual inspection of every apartment in Berkeley for safety violations and requires that each gas heater have a mechanical contractor or PG&E service technician inspect each gas heater to make sure they are working properly every three years. What I am amazed at is that all city funded, non-profit housing and Section 8 housing is exempt! Why is it not important to inspect subsidized housing? Don't we want it to be safe too? 

The program's department says that city assisted housing is periodically inspected already, therefore it is exempt. Section-8 apartments are inspected only before tenants move in and not afterwards, even if they are there for ten years. If it is such a good program and safety is the goal for all of Berkeley's apartment dwellers then the city should not exempt non-profit housing, Section 8 housing or city assisted housing.  


Vicki Larrick