The city of New Haven has made use of a 2009 municipal law allowing them to foreclose on abandoned problem properties. Known as the “Anti-Blight and Property Maintenance Ordinance” or simply the “Anti-Blight Bill” this law grants the city of New Haven the power to aggressively fine property owners, including the Housing Authority of New Haven, and place liens on those properties if the fines are unpaid and, in extreme circumstances, the power to foreclose on blighted properties. The ordinance also addresses cosmetic aspects of property ownership by prohibiting owners from leaving garbage or shopping carts on their property and requiring that they maintain basic appearances by fixing broken windows and having proper drainage for their driveways.
Although the law was passed in 2009, the city has not taken advantage of the foreclosure option included in the bill until recently. Its first foreclosure was initiated in June 2012 after years of complaints regarding the “eyesore” of the neighborhood. The target property, 129 Clay St., has been neglected since 2003 and has since been the home to many homeless and criminal individuals according to local residents. The city has announced its intention to foreclose on the property and will put out a Request for Proposals from developers and housing agencies who would possibly develop the property into owner occupied housing.