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Openable windows in Milwaukee will require screens

After a two year old died from getting stuck and falling out of a window, Milwaukee city leaders have been working to prevent another tragedy from happening.

Two weeks ago, there was some hesitation about an ordinance requiring landlords to put screens on all openable windows at a Common Council meeting. Some were concerned about what kind of impact it would have on those who live in high-rises.

The item was passed to the Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee, and was brought up Tuesday morning.

City staff presented a substitute ordinance to the zoning, neighborhoods, and development committee.

The substitute ordinance would require all openable windows, regardless of floor, to have a screen. It previously wasn’t required for floors higher than five.

This will only be required for rental units, and not condominiums.

It will also be the responsibility of the landlord to install and maintain them, not the tenant.

“I thought this was the least that we could do to make sure we have the safety measures, the precautions, in place as a city for those who are renters. Just to make sure they have adequate living, just to make sure they can avoid situations as this,” said Ald. Khalif Rainey.

The committee adopted the substitute ordinance.

Alderman Rainey says he will work towards establishing a work group or task force to examine all the codes and ordinances to make sure everyone has the adequate living necessities.

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