80th Annual Meeting


SUPPORTING MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES CONFRONTING VACANCIES AND NUISANCE HOUSES DUE TO THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS

WHEREAS, police and fire protection, clean-up of debris, court actions, unpaid water bills and, possibly, demolition associated with vacancies or nuisance properties can cost municipalities up to an estimated $30,000 for each single property, according to a study of foreclosure costs by Neighborworks America; and,

WHEREAS, mortgage-related foreclosures have resulted in an unprecedented number of not-for-sale, long-term, inadequately maintained vacant properties that contribute to an increase in crime, decrease in neighboring property value, and stalling of the retail housing market; and,

WHEREAS, today, one out of every ten homeowners is seriously delinquent (90 days or more past due on their mortgage payments) or in foreclosure; and,

WHEREAS, according to a 2010 survey conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, there are an average of 2,247 abandoned residential properties resulting from the mortgage foreclosure crisis per city, with some larger cities reporting over 10,000 such properties in their jurisdiction; and,

WHEREAS, in that same survey, seventy-one percent of the survey cities reported that the mortgage foreclosure crisis has affected their approach to managing and disposing of vacant and abandoned properties; and,

WHEREAS, due to financial institutions’ lack of locally-based property preservation programs, cities across the country are struggling to maintain information on the identities of those who have financial interest in vacant properties which are currently in the foreclosure process; and,

WHEREAS, nationalproperty preservation programs that are responsible for managing vacant properties are overwhelmed and lack the coordination to address the local code violations and public safety hazards they pose to communities across the country,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the efforts of mayors across the country to implement city ordinances in order to address this issue, and to maintain public safety, property values, and livability within their communities, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to investigate to what end financial institutions are moving to address these concerns and provide assistance to municipalities who bear the brunt of the financial and public safety burdens associated with vacant, nuisance properties going through the foreclosure process.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2012