A bill to close a loophole that prevents Marion County from enforcing code violations against some landlords failed to pass a Senate committee Wednesday.
Even one of the senators who voted for SB 243, Sen. Mike Gaskill (R-Pendleton), expressed serious reservations with it. Gaskill, a landlord, argued that no one speaks up for landlords.
Stephanie Zhang is the statewide housing community organizer for Hoosier Action. She said she agrees with Gaskill that there are good renters and bad renters, and good landlords and bad landlords. But she said the current system is set up to protect bad landlords from consequences.
“To me, it says that the people that we elect to represent us in Indiana continue to fail to even move the needle forward an inch to help Hoosier renters stay in safe, quality homes,” Zhang said.
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 765-275-1120. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues, including our project Civically, Indiana and our 2024 legislative bill tracker.
Prosperity Indiana Policy Director Andrew Bradley said tenants are losing health and wealth as the General Assembly continues to avoid addressing the state’s housing stability issue.
He pointed to a recent tragedy in South Bend, where reports suggest a fire that killed six children may have been the result of a unit that was re-rented despite failing housing and safety standards.
“We can’t afford to wait a day longer,” Bradley said. “But it looks like we’re going to.”