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(HOUSTON) — When people compulsively hoard possessions in their homes, whether its cats or other items, it can pose health and safety risks.  The City of Houston is now crafting an ordinance that would balance the property rights of hoarders and the rights of others.

“Hoarding situations are fire hazards, so we focused our ordinance on the ability to intervene and cause a cleanup,” Parker said.

The mayor says the ordinance would not immediately apply to homeowners.

“At this point, it does not apply to private homes because there is less of that public safety impact. But long term, the ordinance needs to go in that direction as well,” Parker said.

Parker doesn’t want the ordinance to be focused on fining hoarders because hoarding, she says, is a mental health issue.

The proposed ordinance could be passed as early as this week.

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Getting Hoarders in Houston to Clean Up Their Act  was originally published on