Tougher code is sought

The complex had been without water and power for two weeks.
WARREN -- A city councilman is calling for a tougher housing code after an apartment building in his ward was condemned by Warren building inspectors as being unfit for human habitation.
Councilman Vincent Flask, D-5th, said he is working to ensure that no residents are subjected to living conditions, such as those at a 12-unit apartment building on Harvard Drive, Southeast, where residents had been living without electricity or running water for two weeks.
"The quality of housing in Warren must be brought up to a better standard," he said. "It is imperative for this city to improve its housing stock if we are ever going to see the city make a turn for the better. I would like to see more stringent guidelines for landlords and much tougher codes and stiffer penalties for code violations."
Building closed
Officials closed the apartment building Wednesday afternoon for numerous violations, including no water and power, inoperable fire extinguishers and smoke detectors and deteriorating balconies, Building Inspector Chris Tanneyhill said.
On Jan. 12, the Inspector's office sent letters to the complex owners, Craig V. and Deborah Briggs of Howland, and all the apartment tenants informing them that unless changes were made by Wednesday the building would be condemned.
Tanneyhill said only two families were left in the building, and they finished moving out Thursday.
Briggs is scheduled to appear in Warren Municipal Court on March 6 on a charge of failure to renew the rental permits for the complex.
Briggs could not be reached to comment Thursday.

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