I am referring to the tragic loss of the Estrada family of four who had just moved into a rental home, which had been converted from a metal clad barn, in Sylmar. They had only been living there six weeks prior to their home being consumed by fire in January that unfortunately claimed the lives of the entire family.
How many more families will perish before the city authorities enforce the Los Angeles Municipal Code, which are laws that define construction requirements and residential modifications. CD7 is plagued with makeshift modifications and building conversions.
Building & Safety is not insuring that CD 7 is SAFE when it comes to single family rental residences because they are not inspected by the Housing Department or Building and Safety and this needs to be corrected. They too, should come under periodic inspection by the Code Enforcement Bureau. They should not be treated any differently than muli-units because rentals are usually not kept up well and create blight in our neighborhoods. This community is loaded with illegal garage conversions, backyard trailer parks, and campers being used as condos and rentals. Many are utilizing illegal electrical and plumbing connections.
I am a long time community activist and I believe that in order to resolve this problem, we need to have a consolidated Code Enforcement Bureau made up of Inspectors that cover all the city departments that require inspections. There would be no questions as to what department to call. This would also resolve jurisdiction issues and provide more inspectors who can be assigned by the triage method since they are all supposed to be fully trained.