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Addressing Foreclosed and Abandoned Properties

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This guide offers ideas to help policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and community partners address the challenges presented by foreclosed and abandoned properties.
This guide offers a sampling of responses developed by jurisdictions across the United States in addressing the issue of foreclosed and abandoned properties. It is intended to serve as a quick reference tool for law enforcement and government agencies looking for ideas to address vacant and abandoned properties. The guide is divided into three types of responses: prevention, enforcement, and reuse. Examples of responses in the area of prevention include: (1) measure costs of vacant/abandon properties; (2) establish clean-up crews; (3) create a housing resource center; (4) require banks to regularly inspect their properties; (5) establish and emergency loan program; and (6) encourage the public to help identify vacant structures. Examples of responses in the area of enforcement include: (1) launch a vacant property registration system; (2) require vacancy license and liability insurance; (3) impose a tax on abandoned property; (4) define "nuisance"; (5) evict tenants convicted of crime; and (6) improve efficiency of tax foreclosure procedures. Examples of responses in the area of reuse include: (1) consider demolition; (2) create a land bank; (3) draft a vacant structure report; (4) sell vacant lots at affordable prices; (5) broaden receivership laws; and (6) provide financial support to community development corporations.