Alternative Strategies for an Equitable, Efficient, and Effective Code Enforcement System in Mobile, Alabama

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In early 2016, the Center for Community Progress was contacted by the City of Mobile, Alabama, and asked to provide assistance in evaluating the challenges posed by vacant, abandoned, and deteriorating properties in the city limits. The initial engagement contemplated four potential areas of focus: (1) the systemic structure of the Neighborhood Renewal Program from the perspective of legal powers and capacities as compared against the powers and capacities of a land bank created under the Alabama Land Bank Act; (2) the structure of the Alabama Land Bank Act as compared to comprehensive state land bank statutes adopted in other state jurisdictions in recent years; (3) the efficiency, effectiveness, and equitable nature of existing property tax enforcement statutes and procedures in Alabama, and in the City of Mobile; and (4) the efficacy of the existing system of housing and building code enforcement system in Mobile and its ability either to achieve compliance by owners, to achieve repayment of public expenditures, or to compel a transfer to a new owner.