Michigan Municipal League May/June 2023 Review Magazine
How Can Communities Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Funding to Achieve More Equitable Code Enforcement Outcomes? The economic impacts of the pandemic left many property owners with fewer resources to make repairs, and COVID-19 safety precautions limited some communities’ ability to conduct housing inspections or respond to maintenance complaints. As a result, some communities are using ARP funds to help bring properties up to code. In doing so, many communities are also using this opportunity to transition from traditional code enforcement to a strategic approach. For example, Bay City, Michigan allocated $3 million in ARP funds to home repair and code enforcement activities, aimed at providing financially struggling property owners support to achieve code compliance. Detroit launched an ARP-funded roof repair and replacement program (roof disrepair is the code compliance issue that most commonly blocks residents from other home repair programs). Communities are also using ARP funds to partner with residents to address housing conditions. Syracuse, New York allocated $800,000 to support its Community Ambassador program, which connects tenants to the code enforcement department and other resources, and Youngstown, Ohio allocated nearly $150,000 for a quality of life and property maintenance ambassador.
Finally, communities are using ARP funds to help gain control of vacant properties and return them to productive use. The State of Michigan recently expanded its Blight Elimination Program with an appropriation of $75 million in ARP funds. How Can I Learn More? Community Progress is here to help! Explore our publications, events, or reach out: • Read "Revitalization in Michigan: A Guide to Transforming Vacant, Abandoned, and Deteriorated (VAD) Properties through Code Enforcement" • Attend our free, virtual VAD Properties Academy June 21-22, which will include sessions on strategic code enforcement • Contact us to learn how we can provide customized, expert guidance to help your community reimage its code enforcement system Libby Benton is the associate counsel to National Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress. You may contact her at 877.5.4842 x170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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20 THE REVIEW
MAY / JUNE 2023
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