Housing Demolitions and Rehabilitations

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Why This Is Important

Increasing the number of demolitions and rehabilitations is an effective strategy to reduce the number of vacant and boarded buildings across the city and thereby increase the safety and livability of our neighborhoods and the value of our housing stock.

What's Being Done

As the number of vacant and boarded buildings has risen in recent years, the City has increased the number of demolitions and rehabilitations while conducting aggressive enforcement of housing conditions.

The increased demand for demolitions and rehabilitations has led the City to take several steps. Given an average cost to demolish a residential structure of $17,500, the City has collaborated with Hennepin County to bundle our demolitions, thereby reducing this cost significantly. We have implemented a revolving account that will ensure budgetary resources are available for future nuisance abatement actions. In addition, abatement costs are assessed and recouped on future property tax collections.

A rise in the annual fee for properties on the vacant and boarded registration will provide the necessary additional resources without negative consequence to the general fund. This fee has created an incentive to either rehabilitate or demolish the house. To further encourage rehabilitation, the City now allows for a "waiver" of that fee, which permits owners to enter into a restoration agreement with the City and bring the property up to code and avoid the fee.

About This Measure

The City has three main regulatory business processes that directly impact whether a property is rehabbed or demolished. They include:

  • Code Compliance - which requires all condemned properties to be brought up to all current codes before a certificate of occupancy will be issued.
  • Emergency Demolition - which uses the City's regulatory authority to order emergency demolitions of properties that pose an immediate hazard to public safety.
  • Nuisance Declaration and Abatement (249 Ordinance) - which is used to determine when a property should be declared a nuisance and abated through demolition or rehab.

Last updated Feb 23, 2012

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