Friday, November 13, 2015
Atlantic County has awarded a contract to Community Champions Corporation to address the problems that abandoned homes and properties in foreclosure bring to our communities.
Such properties tend to be inadequately maintained, cause blight and attract illicit activities. It is often difficult for local code enforcement officials to locate the parties responsible for a property’s upkeep and maintenance as they may be far removed from the original lender.
A request for proposals was issued by the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, on behalf of Atlantic County, for qualified individuals and firms to create and administer a countywide registry. The ACIA Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Community Champions proposal at its November board meeting.
“The company has proven experience and a successful track record having worked with numerous communities in the tri-state area,” noted County Executive Dennis Levinson. “They have established contacts with the decision-makers in banking and real estate which they are able to appropriately leverage to get things done.”
According to Levinson, abandoned properties not only serve as eyesores in their communities but they lower the value of adjacent properties and make it difficult for communities to recover from economic setbacks.
Community Champions will work with local code officials to help participating municipalities manage problem properties and ensure that they remain compliant with municipal codes and regulations.
Each town will have an opportunity to adopt an ordinance for participation as a shared services agreement.
“There is no cost to participating towns,” noted Levinson. “This service will help to maintain a community’s positive image, financial health and safety, and established quality of life.”