Issues 2 – Blighted Property
“Blighted property” means any developed property that is:
Conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, or crime in the immediate proximity of the property; and
It must also meet 2 of these 6 conditions:
- It has uninhabitable, unsafe, or abandoned structures;
- It has inadequate provisions for ventilation, light, air, or sanitation;
- It is an imminent harm to life or other property (upon notice to the owner to correct);
- It is a Superfund site per the EPA;
- There is repeated illegal activity on the property; or
- The maintenance of the property is below state, county, or municipal codes for at least one year after notice of the code violation.
1. Eliminate substandard and dilapidated housing in neighborhoods.
2. Support the development of compatible infill housing in existing neighborhoods.
3. Stabilize existing neighborhoods by supporting and promoting appropriate rehabilitation activities, infill construction, and code enforcement.
4. Support affordable housing opportunities to ensure that all those who work in the community have a viable option to live in the community.
5. Encourage a compatible mixture of housing types, densities and costs in each neighborhood.
6. Support housing policies, choices and patterns that move people upward on the housing ladder to independence, reflected by various home ownership options.
7. Support opportunities for low-to-moderate income families to move into affordable owner-occupied housing.
8. Support efforts to diversity neighborhoods and eliminate the concentration of pockets of poverty.
9. Promote a range of housing opportunities, including affordable housing, single-family and multi-family options, senior housing, special needs housing, and higher value housing.
10. Support the development of homeownership alternatives such as cooperatives, community land trusts, etc.
Clean and Lien Program An innovative approach adopted by Union City GA, a Clean and Lien program is a mechanism through which neglected, vacant properties may be addressed. After citing the owners of vacant and blighted properties for code violations and ensuring due process for property owners, the local government along with community service workers clean (mowing, boarding windows, and removing trash) the neglected property and then place a lien on it for the value of the cleaning. The program, which costs between $150 – $250 per lot, has brought about the clearing of some 25 abandoned homes in Union City.
Code enforcement can be a valuable mechanism in ensuring the continued maintenance and safe and sanitary conditions within residential and commercial properties. Code enforcement officers are responsible for the inspection and enforcement of properties that violate the municipal housing code, commercial maintenance and industrial code. Properties are inspected for violations such as:
o Decayed/damaged leaking roofs;
o Broken window glass;
o Flaking/peeling paint;
o Rodent infestation or unsanitary conditions; o Overgrown, littered vacant lots;
o Open and vacant structures, dilapidated buildings;
o Numerous other deficiencies which render properties substandard or unsafe to its
occupants or the general public.
Repeated or ongoing violations of the city ordinances may result in penalties including fines, community service, or alternative compliance measures such as demolition, order to vacate, or orders to clean and close the property.