Not common

City administration is proposing that landlords provide the city with all rental leases, so they are aware of the identity of the tenant(s) residing at each rental property. All tenants must present themselves to City Hall with identification to register as well.

This is going to prevent crime? As a medical professional who speaks to many people each day who reside in the community–in owner-occupied homes, in public housing, in rental homes, in the county jails, etc, I can say with certainty that the vast majority of people who commit crimes are not the lease holders! They are the children of the tenants, the boyfriends and girlfriends of the tenants, the person crashing on the couch because they have no home, the friend of someone in housing who is not supposed to be residing in housing because they have a criminal record..

Unfortunately, if this ordinance is passed, it will serve only to make more work for the landlords and city workers, jeopardize the privacy of law-abiding tenants, and will not change the amount of crime in our city. This will be an extremely small, ineffective bandaid, applied to a problem that in large part is generated by an enormous problem in our community and society as a whole substance abuse and dependency. Which, by the way, leads to theft and criminal activity. End of story.

When are we going to put some effort into programs that help folks w/ addictions to get healthy and clean, and obtain self-esteem improving jobs? Without a way to support oneself, sobriety is a very tough nut to crack. I could go on and on, but I won’t. This landlord-tenant registration ordinance is a thought, but not a good idea. Let’s keep searching for what will work, as Williamsport is worth our efforts!

Terri Calvert


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom