Everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home but what if the place you wanted to call home was hazardous to your health. Don’t you have a right to know?
Nearly six million families in the U.S. live in substandard housing. These are homes without adequate heat, broken plumbing, fire, electrical dangers, pests, mold, or chemical hazards like lead and asbestos. Everyone has the right to know about unsafe or substandard conditions before they rent or buy homes. Surprisingly, nothing requires the disclosure of public information on housing health and safety standards and obtaining this information is not easy.
Thousands of municipalities around the country enforce housing habitability codes, but the results of their inspections are rarely made public. Where cities do make some data accessible online, data is provided separately by different agencies in different formats.
Housing Checkup is working to make public information on housing inspections and violations widely accessible and useful not only for tenants but also for others working to improve housing conditions for all.
Tenants and homeowners can use this data to help choose where to rent or buy housing. Tenants and tenant advocates struggling with unhealthy property conditions may consult Housing Checkup in deciding how to approach their landlords. Both government and healthy housing policy groups can use analysis of inspection data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of regulations. Greater transparency of property inspections will also motivate landlords to comply with basic habitability standard.