Since the economic downturn over a decade ago, communities have found that property registration ordinances (PROs) are the key to fighting blight. PROs have slowed or stopped the effects of abandoned properties in hundreds of communities across the nation.
Due to the housing market crash, homes were left vacant, code violations increased, and municipal governments struggled to keep up. Towns like Babylon, New York, and Allentown, Pennsylvania saw a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned homes, and as a result, an increase of code complaints and blighted properties. With so many foreclosed and vacant homes, community code enforcement staff found it difficult to identify those responsible for vacant properties. This problem plagues many communities - and the solution is PROs!
Babylon, New York
Since their partnership with PROCHAMPS has begun, there have been over 3,000 in-default properties registered. Babylon has vacant, foreclosed, and rental property registration ordinances.
For the Town of Babylon, PROCHAMPS does the research, maintains a database of foreclosed properties, and keeps a record of responsible parties - all with no out of pocket costs to the local government.
With a vast number of vacant buildings, Allentown was looking for a solution to the blight that was infesting the community. In 2013, Allentown partnered with PROCHAMPS for an easy and efficient way to communicate with property owners and maintain compliance across the city. Prior to partnering with PROCHAMPS, Allentown government struggled to get lending institutions involved in maintaining properties.
Throughout the past five years, over 6,000 at-risk properties have been registered. Allentown now says "we can communicate better and faster. Compliance is our goal and PROCHAMPS helps us achieve our goal faster."
What is PROCHAMPS?
After partnering with PROCHAMPS, communities enact a best practice ordinance that holds responsible parties accountable to register properties and pay registration fees. PROCHAMPS staff then researches and tracks at-risk properties and contacts responsible parties. Through this partnership, PROCHAMPS provides a web-based communications platform that facilitates direct communication with property managers. This easy-to-use application allows code officials and law enforcement to have a direct line of communication with those responsible for maintaining vacant, foreclosed, and/or rental properties.
This service comes at no cost to the partnered community. Registration fees are shared with PROCHAMPS, generating enhanced revenue for the municipal government.
With the tools provided by PROCHAMPS, communities can be proactive in fighting blight. The Town of Babylon said, "We are hopeful that we can use this database in the future to be more proactive in preventing foreclosures from happening"
Babylon, New York and Allentown, Pennsylvania are just two examples of nearly 170 PROCHAMPS community partners. If your community is in need of a rental, vacant, or foreclosure registry solution, sign up for a PROCHAMPS demo.