STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Renters in State College are one step closer to having proper guidance on their rights through a historic bill.

The State College Borough Council passed an annual budget Monday night that will look into creating a comprehensive Tenant’s Bill of Rights. In October, the council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Bill of Rights which would be the first of its kind in Central Pennsylvania.

Borough Councilman Gopal Balachandran said the budget will help create a new Housing Specialist position that will assist with providing information and resources for tenants.

“A position like this is so vital. Organizations like Central PA United show us with their advocacy and doorknocking that most tenants don’t know what rights they have and where to get help,” Balachandran said. “This budget is an important first step and I look forward to working with renters to implement further portions of the Tenant’s Bill of Rights to improve the lives of all residents in State College.”

According to the Central PA United organization, the bill will create greater housing equity in State College and will provide guidance to residents on their rights as renters, which the borough provided initial funding for in the annual budget.

“We’re happy to see the borough respond to the demands of renters and fund the Housing Specialist position as described in our Tenant’s Bill of Rights,” Central PA United Member Leader Matt Herndon said. “This position will help improve the treatment of renters in the borough and help State College become a livable city for all.”

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The legislation comes after a year-long effort among tenants, local advocacy groups, Borough leadership, affordable housing experts, and community members.

“This is also gonna help homeowners,” Herndon said. “No one wants to have a dilapidated building next door with broken windows or a leaking roof.”

Organizers are now looking at making a new set of zoning rules to update older buildings in need of repair.

“There were some gaps in the law, which, obviously I think because borough council passes it unanimously, there was a lot of consensuses that those gaps need to be filled in,” Balachandran said. “So that’s gonna have to require kind of going through and drafting up the legislation.”