SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The recent fire at a Springfield Gardens apartment building in the North End is highlighting the need for reforms in the building department, according to mayoral candidate Justin Hurst.

The fire at the Springfield Gardens complex on Main Street a few weeks ago left 20 families homeless and forced a daycare program to close. A housing court judge found Springfield Gardens in contempt of court this week, failing to provide adequate security for tenants and for numerous housing code violations.

However, according to City Councilor and mayoral candidate Justin Hurst, Springfield Gardens is not the only property in the city plagued with problems. There are more than 300 properties that have failed their certificate of inspections.

“My thought is that we need to do an audit of the entire building department and their processes around inspecting these buildings. In addition, we need to make sure that our legal department is fully staffed, that our code enforcement and building departments have their full compliment of people,” said Hurst.

Hurst stating that if the city is able to conduct inspections and clear out the backlog, it will be safer for residents and prevent devastating fires like the one at the Main Street Springfield Gardens property.

22News attempted to contact the building department but have yet to hear back.