By Cheryl Spain, KnoxPages.com Reporter
MOUNT VERNON — What was meant to a meet and greet between Knox Metropolitan Housing Authority officials and local landlords quickly turned into a monopolized conversation from one landlord.
The meeting was intended to educate the community on housing choice vouchers, also known as Section 8, and let individuals know how to become a landlord in the program. After KMHA Executive Director Jennifer Epling gave a brief overview of the process, housing inspector Ryan Kessell began a review of what he looks for during the inspection process.
Several landlords wanted clarification as to when and why the inspection process changed and KMHA stepped up enforcement. One landlord then gave multiple examples of what he has been required to fix, adding that the violation is often the tenant's fault. Forty minutes into the program, another landlord left after his request to let the KMHA representatives continue their program was not heeded.
Eventually, Carrie Hale spoke briefly about protection rights, confidentiality issues and flexibility in moving to another unit for renters involved with domestic violence issues. The landlords still remaining had an opportunity to ask questions regarding responsibility for safety devices such as carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors, whether KMHA is planning to streamline the paperwork process by putting it online and drug testing of prospective renters.