Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Holyoke Problem Property Group Implements Improved Method of Property Preservation


This year the City of Holyoke has changed how it preserves properties. By ordinance the City now requires vacant and abandoned properties to be secured with clear boarding. This improved method has already been used on a number of properties and bank preservation companies and receivers have already been notified of it.

When a property is found vacant, abandoned, or unsafe it is required by law and the building code to be secured. The City’s Building Commissioner will immediately order the securing of a structure found to be at risk. Securing of a property greatly reduces the risk of illegal activity.
“While we would rather have every structure online in the City it is not always practical. Some structures are in foreclosure, an estate, or in tax title. With these situations they will be in limbo for years. The process of securing these is imperative to preserving our real estate stock.” said Building Commissioner Damian J. Cote.

The new method is a significant reduction in blight for the City. For years Holyoke like all other communities has followed the standard procedure of securing with sheets of plywood and 2x4’s. After attending a national conference addressing blight and vacancy, Building Commissioner Cote put forward a proposal mandating that properties be secured using clear polycarbonate. The material is more durable and can hardly be detected from the street. The City has worked with Fln-Mar of Holyoke to establish a one stop shop for contractors.

“Working with Fln-Mar has been very beneficial. They have been valuable as experts in the use of plastics. It is great to have them on board to lend advice and support to the contractors that will be use the new system” Cote added.

The Holyoke Fire Department is excited for this improvement because it will allow more visibility in regards to potential hazards such as fires. “This is another example of the City taking a proactive approach to ensure vacant, abandoned or unsafe structures are properly secured, while at the same time reducing blight”, says Chief John Pond. 

“This new procedure will help to maintain property values in and around vacant properties.”

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