Towns wrestle with abandoned houses
Some area municipalities forced to turn to legal action
While driving through the village, Algonquin building inspector Diane LaCalamita and property maintenance inspector Kim Nix look for inoperable cars, grass that needs to be mowed, overgrown shrubs blocking access to the street or sidewalk, accumulation of garbage, broken windows, excess dog feces, or snow that hasn’t been shoveled in the winter.
These are signs of vacant houses and buildings that need to be monitored. In recent years, vacant homes – and the problems surrounding them – have grown in number, occupying an ever-increasing amount of municipal officials’ time.
Municipalities have a few options to make sure properties stay up to code even though they are vacant and possibly bank-owned.
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