Bringing Problem Properties Back to Productive Use

By MNR News posted 09-29-2021 07:23


photo of an abandoned buildingThis summer, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) hosted “Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Code Enforcement Strategies,” as part of its Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization webinar series.

Reactivating a vacant residential or rental property can provide a wealth of benefits for a neighborhood, such as reducing crime, improving the health of residents, raising neighborhood property values, and increasing tax revenue. Properly applied housing and building code enforcement can bring problem properties into compliance, promote community stability and confidence, and create healthier spaces to live and work.

Code enforcement should focus on four principles:

  1. Equity: Code enforcement should recognize different types of owners and properties; advancing strategies that address social and economic inequities rather than enforce the status quo. It should also assist vulnerable owners who can’t make repairs.
  2. Effectiveness: Code enforcement should identify vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated residential and rental properties; proactively enforcing standards. It should also use data to track and monitor outcomes.
  3. Efficiency: Code enforcement should inspect rental properties proactively; notifying owners of the standards to be met. It should also target willful neglect of properties and reward good landlords.
  4. Education: Code enforcement should work proactively to provide learning opportunities that create culture change; providing clear information in letters and violation notices. It should also develop community partnerships based on shared goals.

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