YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If Youngstown landlords targeted by the community group ACTION don’t sign a pledge to maintain their rental properties, members of the group have promised to embarrass them.
The promise came at a meeting Tuesday evening. Six landlords were cited for, among other things, failure to correct code violations and delinquent taxes.
While two are from out of state, four of the landlords live in the area and may be getting a knock on their doors.
ACTION member Katrina Love explained to the 110 people at Youngstown’s Martin Luther Lutheran Church what is planned for Saturday morning, July 13.
If the four local landlords targeted for failure to maintain their properties don’t sign an agreement to maintain them, ACTION is coming.
“We will take a bus to their home, knock on their door and bring the agreements for them to sign. All of them live close by and we know where,” Love said.
If they still won’t sign, ACTION will pass out flyers in their neighborhoods and at their churches.
Also at the meeting, 70-year-old Youngstown homeowner Bonnie Jacobs shared about a problem with a rental house next door, owned by one of the four local landlords.
“Tenants from this property have attempted to set fire to my garage,” she said.
Joe Susak, of East Boston Avenue, said he finally got a solution to the problem house next to him.
“It took me three years to get them people and finally, they tore the house down. Why do we have to do that?”
Dr. Rosie Taylor suggested putting pressure on the Mahoning County treasurer to collect back taxes.
“If we do that, look at the money that will not only be in our treasury here in the city, but also, that will keep them from buying additional properties,” she said.
ACTION member Mary Krupa explained how drastic measures can work.
“So far, we’ve been successful,” she said.
Landlord Mark King, who was targeted at a similar meeting in April, has made progress. He is making repairs at houses with code issues and has a payment plan to pay his back taxes.
“He has demolished all 12 of his worst properties and paid for the demolitions in full,” Krupa said.
ACTION claims the six landlords are responsible for 112 properties — only eight of which are registered as rentals.
There were 122 violent nuisance reports at the properties between 2016 and 2018, according to the group.
ACTION says there’s a total of $140,000 in back taxes on 35 of the properties.
The group also says there are 20 active code violations.