In 2016 Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI -a public interest law and policy center in the Chicago region) and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (representing the local elected officials of the six-county Chicago region) published a report titled, “Vacant Building Ordinances: Strategies for Confronting Vacant Building Challenges”
To view the report, please click on the following link;
Vacant Building Ordinances: Strategies for Confronting Vacant Building Challenge

The Kentucky League of Cities has built a comprehensive data resource center for information including;

  • City Officials Guide to Vacant Residential Properties
  • Local Government Code Enforcement Handbook, and;
  • with the assistance of MuniReg’s founder, A Model Ordinance Requiring Registration of Certain Vacant Residential Properties.

To access the information, please click on the following link;
KLC Code Enforcement Resource Page

Published in 2009 by Community Legal Resources (now Michigan Community Resources) with the assistance of MuniReg’s founder, the Vacant Property Legal Manual features the following areas:

  • Preventing Vacancy: Foreclosure Prevention
  • Determining Property Ownership
  • Stabilizing Vacant Properties
  • Controlling the Condition of Vacant Properties
  • Purchasing Vacant Properties
  • Issues Regarding the Acquisition and Maintenance of Vacant Properties

The section on vacant property registration (VPR) ordinances begins on page 24.

To view the report, please click on the following link;
Vacant Property Legal Manual

Download the recent study from the Center for Community Progress that demonstrate the tremendous missed opportunities and inefficiencies in administering a VPRO “in-house”

North Carolina
Campell Law Review article “Toward a Comprehensive Program for Regulating Vacant or Abandoned Dwellings in North Carolina: The General Police Power, Minimum Housing Standards, and Vacant Property Registration” Author, is now a Professor of Public Law and Government at School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania maintains the PA Blight Library with resources including

  • Understanding Blight and its Impact on Communities
  • Planning to Prevent and Remediate Blight
  • Code Enforcement
  • Land Banks Blight & Land Bank Funding Options
  • Conservatorship
  • Blight to Bright Manual
  • Land Bank Resource Guide

Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania Report “Revitalizing Pennsylvania” 

Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations report
Dealing with Blight: Strategies for Tennessee’s Communities


The Community Development Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law issued a report titled, Texas Problem Properties Toolkit.
The report focused on;

  • Community engagement
  • Rental property registration
  • Receivership
  • Vacant property ordinances
  • Criminal nuisance abatement
  • Land banking
  • Code enforcement

West Virginia

Updated 2/4/2022

West Virginia University BAD (Brownfield, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings Program is a West Virginia statewide initiative that provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to enhance abandoned and dilapidated building programs in WV communities.

They have a comprehensive list of all BAD Building Tools they provide.

Individual links are below. Website can be accessed by clicking here.

Survey and prioritize buildings:
Community Heart and Soul Field Guide
Visioning Questions Worksheet
Community Priorities Worksheet
Stakeholder Engagement Matrix

BAD Building Survey Sheet
BAD Buildings Inventory
BAD Buildings Prioritization Grid
Prioritizing Properties Instructions
Decision Enhancer Tool
Decision Enhancer Tool Handbook 

Reuse a property:
Redevelopment Plan Template
Community Facilities Infrastructure Toolkit for Rural Planning
Re-Powering Electronic Decision Tree Tool

Engage property owner:
How to Research a Property Owner
Friendly Letter Template
Conversation with Property Owner Script

Prevent blight:
Blight Prevention Strategies
Create a Local Community Service Directory
Letter to a Helping Agency
Create a Neighborhood Association

Legal tools:
From Liability to Viability: A Legal Toolkit to Address Neglected Properties in West Virginia

Build your partnership network:
Partnership Development Guide
Partnership Resource List
Outreach letter template – Funding
Outreach letter template – Materials
Outreach letter template – Volunteers

Demolition and deconstruction:
On the Road to Reuse: Residential Demolition Bid Specification Development
On the Road to Reuse Fact Sheet
Large-Scale Residential Demolition Resource Directory
Deconstruction Rapid Assessment Tool
Instructions for Deconstruction Rapid Assessment Tool

Manage a brownfield:
USEPA CERCLA Common Elements Reference Sheet
All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Fact Sheet
AAI Rules and Checklist
AAI Reporting and Suggested Content
Stakeholders Guide to AAI

Analyze maps and data:
West Virginia Flood Map
Map West Virginia
US EPA Environmental Justice Screen
US Census American Fact Finder
How to navigate the American Fact Finder
US Census
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Quick Rural Data

The BAD Buildings Model
BAD Buildings FAQ

Additional resources:
Leadership:  West Virginia Community Development Hub
Rural design:  Citizen’s Institute on Rural Design
Legal support:   WVU Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic
Brownfields:  West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers


The West Virginia University College of Law has a toolkit, titled “From Liability to Viability A Legal Toolkit to Address Neglected Properties in West Virginia”

Among the various tools discussed in the Toolkit;

  • Building Code
  • On-site Citations
  • Vacant Property Registration
  • Uninhabitable Property Registration
  • Liens for Demolition and Repair
  • Public Pressure
  • Locating the Property Owner
  • Partnerships with Financial Institutions
  • Negotiating with Stakeholders
  • Injunctive Relief Through a Nuisance Code
  • Liens for Debris Removal after Fire

You can also access the various sections directly from the webpage.