Local Vacant Property Registration Ordinances in the U.S.: An Analysis of Growth, Regional Trends, and Some Key Characteristics
44 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 12, 2012
This article examines the growth of vacant property registration ordinances (VPROs) in the U.S. It utilizes a new, unique database of local VPROs enacted in the U.S. The database is based on an industry listing of ordinances maintained by a large, national field services firm employed by mortgage lenders to secure and maintain foreclosed properties. Copies of over 550 ordinances (or in a few cases, summaries of ordinances) were obtained and coded on over 30 characteristics. Initial analysis of the database reveals that VPROs grew dramatically in 2008 and 2009, during the climax of the national foreclosure crisis, and that number or ordinances continued to grow after 2009, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. Growth was particularly robust in the Midwest, Southeast and West, although growth occurred in all parts of the country generally. Localities in some states, especially California, were particularly early adopters of VPROs in 2007 and 2008. In general, higher foreclosure levels do predict higher rates of VPRO adoption within a state, but only roughly, with a good deal of variation not explained by foreclosure rates. In particular, a few states that have been hit hard by foreclosures (Arizona and Nevada, e.g.) did not see substantial growth in the number of VPROs. The coverage, requirements, and penalties specified in VPROs vary greatly across ordinances and across regions of the country.
Keywords: vacancy, housing, housing code, foreclosure
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