LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The new director for Lansing’s Department of Economic Development and Planning said his team is taking steps to overhaul enforcing the rules governing rentals and other properties.

This comes as the city faces the reality of having hundreds of red-tagged homes.

Director Jordan Hankwitz has been at the job for a few days. He and other members from his office were brought into the city’s public safety committee Tuesday night to answer a slew of questions.

Many of the questions came from an earlier meeting where councilmembers grilled then-interim Economic Development and Planning Director Barb Kimmel about the city’s red tag issue.

Hankwitz took more than 20 questions from committee leaders that ranged from code enforcement officer workflow to what the timeline is for the city to catch up on rental inspections.

“That’s kind of a sliding scale because that could be there are some geographic areas that are a little further behind some types of inspections that are a little bit further behind or less far behind,” said Director Hankwitz.

He said the city is four to six weeks behind in rental inspections.

Department officials said while it will take some time to get the inspections done, landlords can face penalties if they were to rent the unit before the city gets eyes on the home.

In terms of red tags, Hankwitz gave an updated number with 296 pink tags attached to rentals and 693 red tags on other units’ doors.

An earlier special meeting revealed employees lacked the necessary skills to use the software to track code enforcement. Something Hankwitz said is being addressed.

A big concern of the committee was better information sharing between city departments, renters and the council.

Moving ahead both Hankwitz and Lansing Police Captain Katie Diehl said they are in talks to find the best way to make a sharable red tag database.

City Councilmember Adam Hussain said while there’s a lot of work and questions left, he is glad to see movement in addressing the red tag crisis.

“People at the table now are truly committed to getting this right,” he said. “If we continue to work collaboratively, we’ll certainly bring the ball across the goal line.”

Hussain said the public safety committee will be tasked with learning more about the red tags in the city bi-weekly and bringing the findings to the city council at least once a month.