New Bedford's Problem Properties Ordinance is one step closer to being passed after Thursday's City Council meeting.

The proposed ordinance was passed to a second reading after a 9-1 vote.

Councilor at Large Linda Morad was the sole vote in opposition, while Ward Five Councilor Kerry Winterson was not in attendance due to a prior personal commitment.

Councilor at Large David Alves has opposed the ordinance for a long time, but has changed his tune since the new amendments give landlords and tenants equal protection.

He's also on board since the New Bedford Department of Health is now issuing pre-inspections of apartments.

Alves says, "Prior to a landlord renting an apartment, he can request the Health Department go in and inspect the apartment. They would go through, do a full inspection, then certify the apartment as being livable - meeting all of the health standards."

After two years of work, the ordinance can gain final approval after a vote in front of the Council at their April 23rd meeting.