City OKs Partnership Plan, Awaits County’s Approval

Councilor Kevin Hill speaks in support of the proposed partnership
Councilor Kevin Hill speaks in support of the proposed partnership

OSWEGO – The Common Council Monday night unanimously authorized Mayor Billy Barlow to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the city of Oswego and county of Oswego, which will create a partnership between the city of Oswego Department of Code Enforcement and Oswego County Department of Social Services.

Councilor Kevin Hill speaks in support of the proposed partnership
Councilor Kevin Hill speaks in support of the proposed partnership

It will ensure that any applicant for housing through Oswego County DSS is placed in a property in the city that is complaint with all local laws and regulations, including the possession of a valid city of Oswego rental permit, the mayor reiterated Monday night.

Under the pact, DSS employees will have access to the city’s MUNICITY software and will use it to verify the properties under consideration are code compliant, have a valid rental permit and are current on city taxes. Currently, there is nothing in place to alert DSS whether a property was code compliant or not.

Councilor Ron Tesoriero said he was fully in support of the agreement.

It will he ensure that people don’t have to live in the way that some tenants in some places around the city have been forced to endure, he said.

“This is something that’s long over due. It will provide a better standard of living,” he said. “I commend Mayor Barlow for working to provide a safer situation for the community.”

Council Vice President Kevin Hill said he has seen some of the deplorable conditions in which some renters live.

“It’s astounding that anyone is allowed to live there,” he said, adding that there are many unsafe houses in the Port City – “it’s a travesty.”

The county is expected to approve the tentative agreement at Thursday night’s Legislature meeting.


  1. There are certain landlords who should NOT be able to participate, period. They have kept their properties in lousy condition inside and out. The cash there monthly HUD and DSS checks and never look back.

  2. My concern is that with the accountability that there will be become less and less lower income housing in Oswego, which will result in other communities getting an influx of those families. DSS is not going to pay a higher rate of rent just because the apartments become up to code or nicer. Landlords are going to expect to increase rent to cover the changes that they have to make, end result could be more vacant houses in Oswego. I do agree that there are some severe cases where the rent should not be covered as houses are just down right unsafe but the key is finding a solution that does not come down to people being forced to leave Oswego, or maybe that is the purpose of this…to push poverty out of the city.

Comments are closed.