Strategic code enforcement is a powerful tool that communities dealing with vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties can use to address health and safety concerns of problem properties and stabilize neighborhoods experiencing decline.
Code enforcement includes all the elements involved in obtaining compliance from private owners of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties. Strategic code enforcement focuses on maximizing compliance while minimizing intervention from local government. It is an approach to code enforcement that uses data and community input to make the most of limited resources to achieve a community’s goals.
Equitable, efficient, and effective code enforcement is one of the most promising approaches to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.
- Equitable code enforcement recognizes differences in circumstances and provides the necessary support and protections to property owners in more positions. Equitable code enforcement responds to individual hardship while still working to improve property conditions.
- Efficient code enforcement achieves compliance in the shortest time and at the lowest public cost.
- Effective code enforcement results in an improved property that meets local standards. Property owners might comply voluntarily, or local governments can take action to abate the nuisance and either recover costs or compel the transfer of the problem property to a new responsible owner.
Communities can make the most of their time and resources by responding to code violations in supportive ways, rather than just being punitive. By working in partnership with property owners, they can improve conditions for an entire neighborhood.