Cities throughout the United States are facing persistent and costly blighted and vacant properties.
These properties consume endless resources, depress market values, and directly affect public safety and economic development.
Some studies show that properties follow a predictable and costly 5-7-year cycle as they move from distressed to blighted or vacant and some
This cycle is difficult, if not impossible, to disrupt in some cases because of limited data about the status of such properties. Some property owners have capitalized on this inability to share data and continue to avoid scrutiny or penalty for multiple derelict properties.
Experts believe that the cycle can be interrupted if there is access to the information necessary to identify and track this cycle combined with an understanding of the underlying systemic causes of blight.
Consistent and easy access to high quality and usable data is critical for the early identification of property decline.
A city’s success in reversing the cycle centers on the organizational and technical infrastructure necessary to collect, manage and share property information frequently and easily within the city, as well as with community partners, the public, other cities, and the State.
The absence of the necessary technologies, policies and practices in some small- to medium-sized cities is a significant barrier to combating vacant and blighted properties. New capabilities to share information would help shine a new light on chronic violators and allow cities to proactively prevent the spread of blight.
Four cities of Schenectady, Troy, Amsterdam, and Gloversville have partnered with us to address the code enforcement information needs throughout the region in order to support programs that target urban blight. This two-year effort has the following objectives:
The New York State Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) announced the REDC awards in Dec. 2014 and released the awards project list.
Officials from Schenectady, Troy, Amsterdam and Gloversville with the New York Department of State and CTG UAlbany kicked off the project in May 2015. Watch the video of this press conference
Funding for this project is provided by the New York State Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency (LGe) Program.