Houston City Council passes anti-hoarding ordinance

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HOUSTON, TX – We’ve seen the stories. We know that hoarding is unhealthy and can be deadly. Recently a hoarder in Dallas was found dead beneath his own garbage. Now the Houston City Council has unanimously passed an anti-hoarding ordinance for apartments, town-homes and condos.

The new ordinance creates a daily fine of up to $500 and allows police to pay a visit to those hoarders suspected of putting their neighbors at risk.  You know: rodents, smell, dirt, garbage: it’s a disease-filled combo and a fire hazard. The rule will apply to multi-family homes. Individual houses, at least for the time being, will remain under the radar.

Mayor Annise Parker said the ordinance will grant authorities a right of entry and intervention also aimed at providing hoarders with the help they need.

“There’s difficulty managing uncertainty,” explained psychiatrist Dr. Kurt Cousins. “So people feel that they’re gonna need something in the future, so they hold on to it.

If you know someone who is a hoarder, here are a couple things you can do:

“By gently talking with their friends and loved ones,” said Dr. Cousins, “someone can take that information and use it to make suggestions to the hoarders about getting care.”