Continuing the battle against blight

By Jillian Marshall

Continuing the battle against blight

December 19, 2013 Updated Dec 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The city of Binghamton's population has been in decline for years, leaving behind dozens of foreclosed and abandoned homes and properties. In the past few years, however, local leaders have been picking up the streets and revitalizing properties.

Binghamton has had a part in fixing up multiple homes across the city and their code enforcement has stepped up by raking in hundreds of thousand of dollars a year in violations.

The city's Director of Planning and Development Tarik Abdelazim presented the progress the city has made battling blight since 2007 and shared future goals to maintain the city Wednesday to the Southside Neighborhood Assembly.

Abdelazim said the Vacant Property Registration Ordinance, Restore NY and the $1 Healthy Homes program helped address the blighted properties.

"The most important factor contributing to crime, believe it or not, is vacancy. That is the strongest connection," Abdelazim said. "So to look at our successes over the last eight years, I feel proud to help create safer and healthier neighborhoods."

He announced two new initiatives at the meeting: Homes and properties sold in the county auction will now come with a copy of an inspection, so buyers can be held accountable for the code violations and clean up of the property.

The second initiative is having the Broome County Land Bank be key in helping fight the blight. It will now have the authority to manage and develop foreclosed properties by negotiating with prospective buyers on price and what the city expects out of the property.

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