Here’s a map of the areas covered in the Tovo ordinance’s pilot year.
The Spelman version is focused on ‘repeat offenders’ anywhere they might be in the city. Perhaps the majority of existing violations are included in the Tovo target areas. But if that is the case, then Tovo’s targeting will leave out those known repeat offender properties outside of the pilot areas. Ultimately, it would probably be more efficient to build a statistically-driven algorithm that looked at the known attributes of properties (age, ownership, criminal incidents, number of units) to predict tenant displacement, death, or building fires then to hazard a guess that a certain neighborhood might contain those.
I am pretty surprised that Hyde Park is included in the pilot. Though again, I have not found any public mapping of where high numbers of violations occur. I am not surprised that the areas selected are places with high levels of students. Many proponents are focused on the quality of life issues created by high student occupancy units. Those certainly should be addressed but are distinct from dangerous properties that might cause tenant displacement, death, or building fires.
I’ll be curious to see how Council candidates running under 10-1 discuss the Tovo proposal. The official discourse surrounding rental registration is a focus on the sub-standard housing crisis across the city. But he current ordinance language coupled with this map seem to indicate otherwise. It is 80% or more of the City subsidizing what is likely to be mostly quality of life code enforcement external to structures – potentially a lot of it targeting students – for a few neighborhoods. It will be interesting to watch how candidates living in Central East Austin or deep South Austin will justify sending their constituents’ money to beef up rental inspections in Hyde Park. Or perhaps they won’t.