Recently two large cities announced new strategies to address blight, one creating a city-wide collaborative while the other focuses on specific requirements for the security of vacant properties.

Vacancy Strategy Initiative
St. Louis Community Development Administration (CDA) announced their “Vacancy Strategy Initiative”

This 2-year project “prioritizes collaboration between City departments and agencies for the strategic deployment of resources allocated to vacant property prevention, maintenance, stabilization, beautification, and reuse.”

The Vacancy Strategy initiative focuses on three primary goals:

  • Interagency Coordination
  • Prioritization of Resources
  • Metrics, Maps, and Cost Analysis

For more information, please view the City’s Press Release by clicking here.

Detailed Enhancements
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell proposed legislation in response “to an increase in nuisance, health, and public safety risks associated with vacant structures.”

The proposed legislation would:

  • Strengthen the standards for securing vacant buildings by requiring solid core doors, stronger throw deadbolts, and, in some cases, polycarbonate sheets rather than plywood.
  • Require vacant buildings to be kept free of graffiti.
  • Require any building that receives a notice of violation to enter the vacant building monitoring program, rather than just those buildings that fail to correct a notice of violation by the compliance deadline.
  • Simplify the process for Police and Fire referrals to vacant building monitoring.
  • Authorize the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) to file a property lien to collect unpaid vacant building monitoring fees and abatement costs.

For more information, please view the City’s Press Release by clicking here
To view a media article on the initiative, please click here.