As we know, blight’s impact is more than just an eyesore on a city street corner. It occurs in rural, suburban and urban communities and has significant economic and community repercussions. Blight costs municipalities a tremendous amount of money in unpaid and lost tax revenue annually. It also uses precious municipal resources in cleanup efforts and decreases the value of homes for the surrounding homeowners.
In addition to negative economic impacts, studies have also shown that blight has a detrimental impact on the physical and mental health of those who live in its shadow. Vacant and blighted properties are linked to increased disease mortality and suicide. Communities that struggle with blight are theorized to be more vulnerable to crime, creating community withdraw which increases chronic stress and negative behaviors, such as drug use.
The first step to combating blight is prevention. For this reason, The League supports legislation increasing the 1994 fire escrow amount to reflect today’s dollars, providing a simplified process to clear tangled titles and strengthening local code enforcement efforts and funding.