11/07/2011Posted by MJ
No matter who you speak with in the City of Lockport there is a reoccurring theme when the conversation turns to housing. Everyone wants to see the blight eliminated, and the owners of the property held responsible for it’s repair or restoration.
Neglected and Nuisance housing has been put on the back burner for far too long in the City of Lockport. In 2008 an effort was made by a small group of homeowners to bring blighted and nuisance housing problems out of the shadows and expose it as the social “Black Eye” that it is. A minimal amount of progress was made in 2008-09. Some of the same properties and the same problems remain unresolved to this day.
The prime culprit continues to be multi-unit income-based housing where landlords (mostly from out of the region) continue to neglect their property and thumb their nose at the legal system. That by no means ignores the fact that there are single-family houses that are in a comparable stage of funkiness. Unfortunately along with the neglect and the blight comes the proliferation of drugs, crime and more blight, as the scourge continues to seep into the surrounding areas.
As citizen advocates we have always preferred to work along side and in chorus with Government. It has become clear however that unless pushed and prodded, the City has difficulty maintaining any momentum when it comes to dealing with nuisance housing.
Here’s what Save Lockport Housing expects to accomplish.
§ Take care of the worst Housing problems first and bring them to a final conclusion
§ One year maximum on boarded up buildings before repairs must begin
§ Reward homeowners when they improve their property with TAX incentives
§ We are requesting a 3 year moratorium on conversions from single-family into multi unit
§ Assist the elderly and disabled with a helping hand
§ “Help a Vet” housing program for returning veterans
§ Equal application of the law to all citizens
§ Sponsor “City of Lockport Clean-Up Week” the first week in May
In most cities the initiatives being introduced are civilian-based with assistance from government and local agencies. It’s important to realize that the government can’t do all of the work. It’s incumbent upon every citizen to do his/her part. We have many initiatives that we plan to introduce. We will be seeking Common Council sponsorship, and help from private citizens, groups and organization, to join together to Save Lockport Housing.
Save Lockport Housing believes that we can find strength in numbers, and that we will make a greater impact if our membership is large. We are looking for a wide range of skillful people who want to become PART OF THE HOUSING SOLUTION!
I urge everyone to visit or web site savelockporthousing.com. , Facebook at Save Lockport Housing, or you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We plan to hold our first meeting in November. Watch for details.