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Details

Date September 2019
Client Village of Monticello and Sullivan County Land Bank
Length 29 Pages

Reactivation Plan

Village of Monticello Problem Properties Remediation Action Plan

Remediate long-term vacant properties with New York state-authorized legal tools

Leaders of the village of Monticello in New York State seek to bring long-term vacant and abandoned buildings back into productive reuse and ensure that the village’s housing is safe, healthy, and code compliant. This action plan maps Monticello’s housing markets, identifies its problem properties, recommends tools to address challenging properties in each type of market, and provides a set of metrics the village can use to measure progress over time.

Prepared in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund, the plan recommends a series of New York state-authorized tools and tested approaches that Monticello can implement in its different neighborhood types, which are shown in maps throughout this plan. While some neighborhoods are well-maintained and stable, others suffer from significant vacancy. The majority of recommendations will not require any additional village budget resources. The overarching strategy is to work cooperatively with responsible, good-faith owners to help maintain their properties and to apply aggressive enforcement tools to bad-faith owners who have the financial capacity to maintain their properties but fail to do so, leaving their properties to blight the community.

Recommendations

Phase One

  1. Adopt this plan and establish task force to lead implementation;
  2. Perform consistent, strategic code inspections with effective enforcement for violations;
  3. Enact vacant property registration ordinance;
  4. Effectively enforce rental registration ordinance;
  5. Reach an agreement with the county to ensure it follows state law and makes the village whole for code and tax liens to obtain needed resources;
  6. Use Zombie Grant funds to expand financial counseling resources for the 13% of homeowners at risk of foreclosure;
  7. Work with the Monticello Housing Authority and Pathstone to ensure subsidized rental properties are code compliant in accordance with HUD regulations; and
  8. Reactivate Broadway using all available tools.

Phase Two

  1. Mandate buyers of properties with code violation judgments cure all violations within 90 days;
  2. Provide clear rules for real estate development, which will encourage investment;
  3. Establish an annexation policy;
  4. Explore the use of real property actions and proceedings, such as 19A, for abandoned tax-compliant residential properties;
  5. Take full advantage of federal, state, and county affordable homeownership programs and explore the creation of a home repair loan program; and
  6. Reach an agreement with the County to ensure that when it expands County offices, it does so in ways that revitalizes the village and does not reduce village tax revenues.