Preliminary Assessment of Vacancy and Abandonment Challenges in Ogdensburg, New York
Observations and Recommendations
Published: September 2018
Author(s): Center for Community Progress
In 2018, the City of Ogdesnburg, New York engaged the Center for Community Progress to provide technical assistance in support of developing a more effective, efficient and equitable approach to problem properties.
Our assessment resulted in the following key takeaways:
- There is consensus that the City is moving in the right direction under the current leadership. There is readiness to chart a new course that prioritizes policies, practices, and resources to tackle problem properties.
- Ogdensburg continues to struggle from the loss of anchor industries that were major employers. A market-sensitive approach will require systems-level reforms, improved coordination, and a more effective alignment of policies, practices, and resources.
- The City’s approach to data collection, integration, mapping, and analysis is limited, primarily due to outdated software systems and significant budgetary constraints.
- The code enforcement division has accomplished a great deal with very limited resources.
- The current practice of selling tax liens to enforce delinquent property taxes provides the City with a much-needed infusion of cash, however, it has drawbacks.
Our observations and recommendations, then, fall under the following key systems of vacancy and abandonment: 1) data management and collection practices; 2) housing and building code enforcement; 3) delinquent property tax enforcement; and 4) land banking.
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