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Mayor Barlow proposes partnership with Oswego County DSS to Ensure Safe Housing

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow announced today a proposed partnership between the City of Oswego and Oswego County Department of Social Services that will require a landlord receiving rental assistance payments for their tenants from the Oswego County Department of Social Services to demonstrate compliance with all City of Oswego laws and regulations and must possess a valid City of Oswego Rental Permit. The partnership, through a Memorandum of Understanding, ensures collaboration between the Department of Social Services and the City of Oswego Department of Code Enforcement allowing the two departments to work together to ensure that tenants relying on rental assistance from the Department of Social Services are placed in property in the City of Oswego that is code-compliant and has a valid rental permit.  This partnership ensures DSS clients are placed in safe, quality housing and increases the accountability of landlords accepting payments of taxpayer money.

“This agreement is a huge step forward for the City of Oswego and Oswego County.  The agreement ensures that when DSS places tenants in the City of Oswego these tenants, many of them women and young children, are placed in quality housing with a reputable landlord,” said Mayor Billy Barlow.  “The two departments will work together in real time to ensure landlords receiving public tax dollars will maintain their obligation to provide safe, fair housing to their tenants,” Barlow added. “This is a game changer for our code enforcement efforts as we continue to force landlords to improve the housing stock that is available to young families and other individuals that have sought assistance from the Department of Social Services,” the Mayor continued.  “I want to sincerely thank our Oswego County Legislature Chairman Shane Broadwell, Human Services Committee Chairman Timothy Stahl, our Department of Social Services Commissioner Stacy Alvord and all the employees at the Department of Social Services for pushing this partnership forward and being willing to assist the City of Oswego in this manner,” Barlow concluded.

Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature Shane Broadwell said, “I am excited to partner with Mayor Barlow and the City of Oswego to ensure that individuals receiving assistance through County DSS will be placed in safe housing that is legally compliant with the City of Oswego Building Code. This MOU is a huge step forward for the City of Oswego as they work to strengthen their code enforcement efforts and bring properties into compliance.  I appreciate the efforts made by our Department of Social Services and their willingness to form this important partnership.”  

The proposed MOU specifically authorizes access by DSS employees to the City of Oswego’s MUNICITY software to verify, in real time, that rental properties under consideration for taxpayer-funded rental assistance are code-compliant and have a valid rental permit.  The MOU further allows direct communications between County and City personnel in furtherance of their respective duties.  The proposed MOU goes before the City of Oswego Administrative Services Committee on Monday July 2nd at 6:30pm at Oswego City Hall where Mayor Barlow will explain in depth the need for the agreement.  The County Legislature will take up the proposal at its July 12th meeting.

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