• Posted On: March 17, 2015

The thought that urban blight is relegated to just a small radius of major metropolitan areas is outdated. Today urban blight can happen in nearly any zip code. Staying ahead of it or overcoming it cannot be the sole responsibility of local or even federal government. To beat blight requires a joint effort on the part of authorities and citizens.

Urban blight can be the result of a slow fade – a gradual decline of property as less money is spent on upkeep. These shabby buildings with broken windows, graffiti and overgrown lawns become havens for criminal activity.

How Blight Happens
Blight can occur due to property abandonment or due to a declining police presence. It may happen as the result of economic conditions such as recession or a housing crisis. It could happen following a natural disaster. Events like hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, tornado destruction and other natural disasters can create a blight issue practically overnight.

Faced with such an enormous problem, financially strapped local governments often cannot handle such situations on their own. Instead, they need the active partnership of local citizens in order to know what properties deserve immediate demolition, which need supervised repair and which neighborhoods need increased safety patrols. Even in places where nature has not unleashed its fury, government can put the brakes on blight when it works hand in hand with empowered residents.

What Can be Done
Some cities have become markedly proactive in halting the problem of blight. Cleveland, Ohio, for instance, has leveraged technological solutions to map out areas and identify distressed or possibly abandoned properties. The city has made it clear that dilapidated properties won’t be tolerated. They will be subject to building code enforcement and without prompt compliance, will be leveled at owner’s expense.

This kind of action requires a good rapport between residents and government. Town hall meetings give residents a voice and the opportunity to see how they can participate in protecting or revitalizing their neighborhood. From New Orleans to Detroit to San Francisco and numerous cities in between, government and citizens are joining hands to ensure the safety, beauty and real estate value of their locale. Technology provides an effective tool to keep the two connected.

Police responsiveness to resident concerns is one improvement, but building code enforcement software also helps smooth the relationship. The software provides mapping capability and can create timely scheduling for inspections, warnings and notifications. The photo features and report capability mean that the process of getting court approval for action happens with greater speed and success.

Comcate is a company focused on providing government with the tools they need to solve problems like urban blight. We have seen our building code enforcement solution make a real difference in the places where people live. Most of our customers find that the solution pays for itself in a short amount of time. We believe the benefits of improved public relations and stable property values is priceless. Check out our slate of offerings designed with municipalities and public organizations in mind. We can give you the muscle you need to beat the blight.

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