Crime Free Multi-Housing Prohibits Tenants from Drug, Gang Activity

VISTA, Calif. (May 22, 2014)  --- Protecting neighborhoods against drug and gang activity can begin with a comprehensive Crime Free Multi-Housing (CFMH) program, said an official with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Recently, about 50 landlords and apartment managers from across San Diego County gathered for a full day of certification training in CFMH sponsored by the Vista Sheriff's Station's Crime Prevention Unit.

Certification takes work, but the San Diego County Sheriff's Department assists property managers throughout the process.

"There's nothing better than this program to prevent, identify and get rid of problems," Sgt. Dave Perkins said.

A key component is fighting the drug culture.  That is why the North Coastal Prevention Coalition helped promote the training and encouraged Vista property managers to attend and get certified in the CFMH program.

"By signing a crime-free lease addendum, prospective tenants agree not to engage in any drug-related criminal activity in the apartment complex," said Perkins. "These lease stipulations make for a safer community, and provide a valuable tool for landlords to be able to get rid of problem tenants."

Crime Free Multi Housing uses a three-phase process.  First, landlords participate in a full day of training with legal and law enforcement experts.  Phase two involves an on-site visit from Sheriff's Crime Prevention Specialists to inspect and offer tips to enhance the physical security of properties.  Phase three, often the most challenging, aims to increase tenant involvement.

But according to the Sheriff's Department, it is worth the effort.

“It’s a great selling point to be able to tell potential tenants that you’re a certified CFMH complex,” said Perkins.

The CFMH program also serves as a de facto screening tool, as prospective tenants prone to criminal activity choose to look elsewhere.  If a resident or their guest is involved in any illegal sales, manufacture or possession of drugs, it is a violation of their lease and can result in eviction.

"We continue to fight the drug culture in San Diego County, and Crime Free Multi Housing is a key component," remarked Aaron Byzak, president of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition. "This program works to reduce the threat of drug problems and allow families to live in safe housing."

Marijuana extraction labs have replaced meth labs as a tremendous cause for concern in residential properties, with San Diego County experiencing multiple explosions per month, according to the San Diego Narcotics Task Force.  The highly volatile process creates ‘honey oil’ or ‘wax’ with extremely potent THC levels.

Crime Free Multi Housing, established in Mesa, Arizona in 1996, now serves more than 2,000 American cities and countries around the world.

To find out more about Crime Free Multi Housing, and a list of certified properties in the Sheriff's jurisdiction, visit: www.sdsheriff.net/cfmh

About North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC)

The North Coastal Prevention Coalition aims to reduce the harm of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs in the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista through community action, education, support and collaboration. Funded in part by the County of San Diego, HHSA, Behavioral Health Services with a contract to Vista Community Clinic.

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