• Posted On: October 10, 2014

Cities large and small strive to improve their communities. Too often, blight stands in the way. Blight takes many forms, but code enforcement departments do everything they can to keep blight at bay. Communities that have taken on more advanced technology are finding their battle with community development issues far less cumbersome.

There are many communities like Hazleton, Ohio all over the country battling with problems that occur in places where old homes are the norm. In Hazleton, nearly 45 percent of the homes were built more than 70 years ago. Worse yet, nearly 15 percent of them are vacant.

Most cities already struggle with finances. Put a blighted housing issue in the mix and you’ve got a situation that can bring community development efforts to a halt. Municipalities have a hard time keeping up with the maintenance of so many vacant homes that are already in need of structural fortification. The longer they remain vacant, the worse they look, and they become a bigger safety hazard for the community.

Hazleton is close to two other cities that say they could use about 20 inspectors to help them evaluate all their vacant structures. Code enforcement is where the battle against blight begins, but most cities cannot afford to hire an additional 20 inspectors. Another problem is that few communities are paired up with the kind of technology that can assist them in their efforts. Instead, they are using outdated work processes that add hours of paperwork to every case.

One way around the issues presented by vacant homes and buildings is to simply tear them down. Cities with a strong preservation society can step in and save the more historic structures, but they can’t be expected to save and restore every blighted neighborhood. Property that is abandoned and condemned becomes a beacon for the criminal element, which can devalue homes in the area. The snowball effect comes into play and entire neighborhoods are quickly reduced to slums.

The answer to the problem for many communities is to take on a code enforcement software solution that assists them in just about every capacity. The software makes it easy to manage and follow up on violations. Code enforcement officers can get access to all the details of a case, property history and nearby cases – all while being out in the field. They no longer have to be at their desks to do their work.

Managers can easily track where their officers are and how much time they’ve spent on each case. They can also assign cases to officers when using the right code enforcement software. This solution also allows them to easily maintain documentation for court and build extensive, standard or custom reports. Community development efforts get fast tracked when the right software is brought into play.

Comcate has developed this software by asking communities what they want and delivering on it. Our code enforcement management software allows clients to increase revenue, improve staff efficiency, automate case management and improve compliance. You don’t need to hire 20 additional inspectors to deal with the blighted neighborhoods – you just need our solutions.

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