In the last Voice of the Township I began to describe the various duties of our workfare department. This department is also responsible for home inspections. The Indiana statute allows Township trustees to inspect property for applicants who request assistance with shelter payments. Wayne Township requires that all property meet a minimum housing safety standard before any expenditure of township funds can be approved. All of our Township inspectors have been trained using‑Neighborhood Code Enforcement (NCE)‑housing codes.‑We feel that everyone has a right to fair and decent housing, especially if your tax dollars are paying the rent.

Each room of the unit‑is checked for items such as broken windows, secure locks on all outside entry doors, and proper wiring. Our number one priority when inspecting properties is to be sure each unit has a working smoke detector. We find that on average, nearly half of the smoke detectors have either dead batteries or no batteries at all. It is imperative that all dwellings have a working smoke detector at all times and they should be replaced every five years. All Wayne Township employees were advised by Fire Marshal Dave Phillips, of the Fort Wayne Fire Department,‑on the importance of working‑smoke detectors. Even if you own your own home, please take the time to consider these issues to make sure that your family is safe.‑

If a property fails our home inspection the landlord is given a list of repairs to bring the dwelling up to city code. Only then can the client be considered for shelter assistance. Wayne Township also inspects all the transitional housing (shelters) to ensure they are also in compliance with city ordinances. Here at Wayne Township we believe that everyone is entitled to a safe and decent dwelling and we will not use any of your tax dollars for substandard housing. We believe‑it is‑a necessary function of the Township to be a strong advocate for residents needing assistance with minimum housing as this helps good landlords and puts pressure‑on “slumlords” to improve their dwellings.‑This again, is part of our dual obligation as a guardian of the taxpayer and an advocate of the poor.