They talk about rentals like they're the source of every problem in the neighborhoods.
Let us make it clear: it's not that rentals are bringing "nice" neighborhoods down.
Once the neighborhood starts deteriorating or values go down enough for rentals to cash flow, rentals start popping up. If you don't want rentals in your neighborhood, act proactively to keep the values up.
1) Yes, Richardson is an aging city, but older neighborhoods don't necessarily mean deterioration.
In our neighborhood (houses built around 1960), younger couples are moving in and updating the houses where former residents lived for 30-40 years, doing very few upgrades. We also see quite a few teardowns and people are building new houses from the ground up. Housing values have gone up in our neighborhood.
One of the problems is so many small houses with one-car garages were built in many areas decades ago and values will go up only so much, based on the size of the lot and house.
2) The city knows the "problem" areas and should be concentrating its energy and resources there.
(In 2003, the rental registration/inspection program was conceived when some residents complained about on-street parking on Dearborn Dr.)
Instead, the city is inspecting tons of properties that are in prospering or good neighborhoods, while the ones that need the most attention, in easily identifiable blighted areas, don't get the attention they deserve.
3) About slapping "cheap paint and carpet" on rentals:
We use Glidden satin on all our rentals, the same grade many homeowners use.
It's the BUILDERS who use the cheapest contractor-grade flat paint for non-custom homes.
We've bought several brandnew homes and know this first hand. (Also, they put in the cheapest appliances that often break in a year or so.)