Since the housing crisis of 2008, abandoned homes and vacant properties have become a serious problem in many Ohio communities.
My Dayton community was hit hard by the Great Recession, and still has one of the highest vacancy rates among major urban areas in Ohio.
Unfortunately, local governments often have no way of contacting landowners of vacant properties to alleviate problems caused by the property.
That’s why I introduced the Protecting Neighborhoods Act, legislation that will spur economic development and improve the health and safety of our communities.
This law would allow county auditors to establish a registry of vacant properties, on which owners of vacant properties must file updated contact information.
This would make vacant properties in our neighborhoods more accessible to manage, maintain and sell.
Crumbling and abandoned buildings harm the social health of our neighborhoods and depreciate the quality of life in countless communities.
Studies show there is a link between vacant properties and an increase in aggravated assault and violent crime.
Also, living near abandoned buildings negatively impacts the health of the inhabitants of this district. The Protecting Neighborhoods Act will reduce these dangerous areas in our neighborhoods so Ohioans can live safe, healthy, and free from fear.
These properties are also extremely harmful to the economy of our state.
Vacant properties cause home values to plummet, leading to lower property taxes that ultimately cost communities money.
A study in Toledo found that vacant properties resulted in a loss of tax revenue of $2.7 million and an additional loss of $2.7 million due to the negative effects of the vacancy on the value of surrounding properties. Additionally, Toledo spent $6,000 per building to demolish 285 buildings in 2011.
It is clear that abandoned buildings slow down economic and community growth.
The Neighborhood Protection Act is a proactive measure that will spur economic development in areas of Buckeye State that are troubled by vacant properties. This bill will make it easier to contact owners to sell or manage their property.
By stimulating economic growth in our state, the Protecting Neighborhoods Act will allow Ohioans to continue to invest in and cultivate strong communities in which to live and work. This is a crucial step in developing a strong and vibrant economy that benefits everyone.
Creating communities where Ohioans can thrive starts with solving the vacant property crisis.
We must fight to make Ohio a more beautiful, prosperous, and safe place to live, and the Protecting Neighborhoods Act does just that.
Willis Blackshear was elected in 2020 and represents Dayton and Jefferson Township (Montgomery County) at Ohio House. He sits on the House finance, criminal justice, trade and labor, and infrastructure and rural development committees. He also sits on the finance, health and social services sub-committee.