AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austinites were without power and water for an extended period of time during February’s winter storms, but now some have another problem stemming from the storms — mold.
The Austin City Council is set to discuss a resolution to address health and safety issues related to mold in rental housing. In some houses, mushrooms are growing out of the carpet, and mold is built up on walls.
Austin City Council members Greg Casar, Vanessa Fuentes, Kathie Tovo and Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison are co-sponsors on the resolution that would authorize a report from the City Manger’s office on conditions in rental properties in Austin and how to move forward to address mold issues.
The report would be due by August 13. Casar introduced the resolution at the city’s Housing and Planning Committee meeting Monday, and the council will hear it at Thursday’s meeting.
“Many Austinites are living in dangerous housing conditions following Winter Storm Uri. No one should be trapped living in an apartment full of mold and collapsing ceilings,” Casar said. He said District 4, which he represents, has the most code complaints and housing code violations related to the storms. In fact, District 4 has more violations than all the other districts combined, he said. District 4 covers portions of east and northeast Austin.
The Austin Code Department put together a report to show the impact of the winter storms for the committee meeting Monday. It illustrates where the code violations are around the city what the department is doing to address them.
“We must push landlords to provide temporary housing, and to allow their tenants to get out of their leases without penalties. These health and safety violations that have lasted for months at the hands of poor management are inexcusable,” he said.