The Abandoned Properties Coalition is tackling a widespread issue across West Virginia and is requesting information about vacant schools across the state. Do you know know of a vacant school in your community?
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has launched a new loan program aimed at getting historic structures rehabilitated. The program is called the Historic Preservation Loan Fund. It is a revolving loan guarantee program to help minimize risk for lending financial institutions in case a borrower defaults and to assist applicants that may not have the capital available for a bank loan. The funds must be used for acquiring, rehabilitating, or redeveloping of a historic building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a contributing structure to a NRHP district, eligible for the NRHP, or on PAWV’s current list of Endangered Properties.
To learn more, please visit PAWV’s News and Notes article.
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has re-issued its Request for Proposals for the new Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support as part of the Property Rescue Initiative program. The Code Enforcement Technical Assistance program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to enhance existing or to create effective code enforcement for communities. The financing can be used for adopting and updating ordinances, procuring a certified code enforcement official, training in code enforcement procedures and practices, personal certifications or department accreditation relevant to code enforcement, and now it also includes contractor labor as it directly relates to demolition of dilapidated residential structures.
Just before Christmas, the City of Thomas crossed another BAD Building off of their inventory. The “Eagle’s Nest” building on Spruce Street was demolished thanks to the collaboration of the private property owner, Woodlands Development Group, and the WVDEP.
The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has begun accepting Request for Proposals for the new Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support as part of the Property Rescue Initiative program. The Code Enforcement Technical Assistance program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to enhance existing or to create effective code enforcement for communities. The financing can be used for adopting and updating ordinances, procuring a certified code enforcement official, training in code enforcement procedures and practices, and personal certifications or department accreditation relevant to code enforcement.
PHOTO – A dilapidated home within the city of Fairmont
In Fairmont, over 300 buildings sit vacant, abandoned or dilapidated.
Some have sat for years in disrepair after their owners died or moved away. Others are owned by heirs who live out of state, and simply forgot about them.
But the residents who live next to them and the city government which has authority over them haven’t forgot.
“As people moved out, who was there to maintain their properties?” City Manager Robin Gomez said. “For many of them, nobody did.”
In the five-and-a-half decades since Jane Jacobs published “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” her core contention — that urban vitality and safety are a function of small-scale density, a mixture of uses and “eyes on the street” — has become conventional wisdom in urban theory. But the impact that that notion has enjoyed can be attributed, in large part, to the poetic force of Jacobs’ delivery: The idea that an active “sidewalk ballet” makes neighborhoods safe as well as vibrant seems to jibe with daily experience. Can data bear it out?
According to a new study, maybe.
West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit was put in place to encourage developers and property owners to take some of the state’s crumbling, historic structures and get them back into working order. The credit is also supposed to encourage the creation of local jobs while repurposing the underutilized buildings.
But the state’s tax credit is 10 percent, and a coalition of architects, economic developers, and others say that’s not enough to encourage the community development they’d like to see. That same group is now traveling the state looking for support as they prepare to ask state lawmakers to increase the tax credit.
It may soon be more expensive — and more difficult — for a property owner to slowly sit on vacant or blighted property in the District. The D.C. Council will take a final vote Nov. 15 on the Vacant Property Enforcement Act of 2016, which was unanimously approved in its first pass by the council on Nov. 1. The legislation, introduced by Councilwoman Elissa Silverman , I-At large, and co-introduced by nine colleagues, would reduce the maximum amount of time a vacant property can qualify for an exemption from higher vacancy tax rates, close a loophole that allows continuous renewal of construction permits to qualify for tax exemptions and require owners of vacant properties to prove they are no longer subject to the higher tax rates. Read more here!
Effective October 31, any one or two-family home that was built in 1916 or earlier or is a designated historic resource cannot be demolished by the typical bulldozer process, but must be manually deconstructed and salvaged.
In response to the demolition epidemic sweeping across Portland, the City convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG) to recommend a new policy for managed deconstruction. The goal was to create an incentive to reuse materials from historic homes and reduce the environmental impact of the tons of waste entering the landfill. Restore Oregon participated in DAG and played a leading role in the development of the new deconstruction policy. Read more here!