Sep 30 2015

Blight Busters

The New York cities of Amsterdam, Gloversville, Schenectady and Troy and the University of Albany’s Center for Technology in Government are banding together to fight the creeping decay and deterioration, born of age or neglect, known as urban blight.

Leaders will share code enforcement–related data and develop best practices for tackling the problem. A single distressed or vacant property can cost a municipality tens of thousands of dollars per year. Direct costs include code enforcement, administration, engineering and property maintenance, while indirect costs include uncollected taxes, devaluation of adjacent properties and the impact on city services such as police and fire calls.

“This pilot project is an investment in an early-warning system to help our municipalities intervene in distressed properties before they fall into a cycle of blight,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “A regional approach is critical, and these cities have committed to working together to identify strategies to combat urban blight in a truly groundbreaking effort.”