Jamie Adame has no ambition to cite community home owners who aren’t in compliance with city building code ordinances, but it is her job to enforce these rules.
This is why Adame, code enforcement official for the City of Columbus, is partnering with the Columbus Area United Way and Columbus Housing Authority to provide local landlords and tenants with an in-depth view at what some of the important areas of home and apartment upkeep should be.
The free-of-charge event is being held at 9 a.m. Wednesday inside of the Columbus Housing Authority, 2554 40th Ave. Refreshments will be served during the event.
Topics being covered during Adame’s presentation include: duties and powers of the code official, different violations, notices and orders, unsafe structures and equipment, emergency measures, demolition, exterior and interior structures, parking and pest & elimination.
“What I am seeing (is) that a lot of violations are coming with the fact that the knowledge just isn’t there,” Adame said. “There’s just a lack of overall knowledge in areas of codes that the city has that I don’t think people realize are there … And I think that a lot of these violations are happening because people just don’t know that they are breaking the rules and regulations.”
The goal, Adame said, is to have at least 12 or so property owners in attendance. By showing up, these people can take away knowledge that will benefit their properties and tenants long term. It also is intended to help community members not get penalized for not being in code compliance.
“The city administrator (Tara Vasicek) is actually really wanting us to work with people, working with them as much as we can,” she said. “She’s given (us) that leeway to work with people as much as we can to try to get different nuisances abated (without levying a fine)."
While Adame will be doing most of the heavy lifting in regard to presenting, Tammy Bichlmeier of the Columbus Area United said that this has been a team effort in terms of hosting such an important event.
“When we do work with families we always find that we usually can’t address the needs of a family with just one organization or one program, and that is why we always try to collaborate with other people and find them in the community – those who have the most knowledge,” Bichlmeier said.
Bichlmeier added that she encourages families to attend so that they can know what is and what is not acceptable in regard to their living conditions.
“We have families who are risk because of financial situations, disability situations – many time these go hand in hand, they don’t always advocate for themselves with housing," she said. "They may be intimidated to communicate with landlords, and so this is our effort to help ensure that these families are in safe environments with housing.
“ ... If we can also get some of these landlords who may not have all of that knowledge to say, ‘hey, this is really what you are supposed to be doing,’ we feel that the families that we are coming in contact with will be better off.”
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.