During his run for mayor, Bob Buckhorn promised to create a landlord training program to teach the city's landlords about "code requirements, code enforcement procedures, and techniques for maintaining their properties in a manner that will help prevent code violations in our rental communities.”
When PolitiFact asked about the program in early 2012, Buckhorn said he couldn't start it until he filled the job of city housing director. The city's manager of housing and community development, Sharon West, retired in January 2012. More than a year later, that job still hadn't been filled — Buckhorn said he wasn't happy with the first group of applicants, so the city is re-advertising the position — but he announced on Feb. 22, 2013, the program will begin soon.
Buckhorn said the program will go ahead under the guidance of Jake Slater, the city's neighborhood services director.
Landlords, Buckhorn said, "need to know what we expect out of them.”
City officials hope to begin the program within a few months, but have yet to identify the initial class or to flesh out other details. The program will be voluntary, and Buckhorn expects that associations for Realtors and apartment managers will refer landlords to the city for training. The Tampa Housing Authority might also help identify owners of subsidized Section 8 rental housing who could go through the program.
"I think they're going to want to be a part of this,” Buckhorn said.
As a candidate, Buckhorn promised to create a landlord training program so that property owners know better how to maintain their rentals. Buckhorn has announced that the program is coming, but City Hall has provided scant detail on its schedule or how it will work. Until officials fill in the gaps, this promise will be rated In the Works.