Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Independent Weekly Vol. 8 Issue 23, June 6-12 1990
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As part of the “Landlord Hall of Shame” series published in the last two issues of the magazine, Raleigh’s most famous landlords are profiled. US Senator Jesse Helms and wife Dorothy own 22 rental properties in Raleigh. 19 are rented in white neighborhoods and are in good condition. 3 are in poor, black neighborhoods and all three have been cited for public nuisances and housing-code violations. Helms has said that private enterprise should drive the housing market, not the government and has voted against bills to fund or create public housing projects. A double-standard seems to be employed by Senator Helms.
As the last article of the three part “Landlord Hall of Shame” series published in the last two issues of the magazine, the housing code and legal system for tenants are examined. Local housing codes in Durham and Raleigh do not adequately protect poor tenants. Local inspectors recognize this, but have no power to fine landlords and the process to punish them can take years. Authorities are afraid that by creating a stricter code, landlords will retaliate against tenants by raising rent, boarding houses up, and evicting residents. Tenant rights need to be protected, but authorities seem unwilling to help.