Newark Ohio’s Property Code And Lack Of Enforcment

West Church Steet Property In Newark, Ohio

Newark, Ohio’s property code maintenance has been a subject of controversy for years. The end result of the controversy, nothing changed much. The code was selectively enforced and many properties were ignored. A recent report proved that many violations had gone over 3 years with no action. Many of the houses are owned by people on the city council!

Another interesting twist is that these homes are qualifying for federal fix-up dollars. If you look closely at this house, you will see the common strange situation where you have houses ready to fall off of their foundations with brand windows, roofs, and other improvements. No right-minded home owner would invest in these improvements when the house was obviously ready to fall over. This is government funded lunacy here. The landlords get free or reduced cost improvements from grants to save on energy bills and we foot the bill.

The ever-present trash bins stay in front of these houses until you get a mountain of trash. Sometimes, you can’t even see the front porches from the refuse. I’m a firm believer that you should be able to do what you will with your property, but this over-reaches anyone’s common sense. The trash problem is everywhere and there is no code enforcement for these violations either.

 

Obama Money Candidate For Improvements

You can’t help but wonder what makes someone want to have their name associated with these properties. About $500/month rent is the only reason. Believe it or not, the taxpayers also keep many of these examples of blight standing because they are approved for low-income assistance. It’s guaranteed money in the landlord’s pocket and removes any incentive to remove or repair these eyesores. If they can get the house to pass inspection with “whatever it takes”, the landlord is a winner.

For the record, I did not look up the record of these homes, but you can feel free to find out who the owners are. These homes could be exceptions, but I doubt it. The story is pretty much the same from eyesore to eyesore in Newark, Ohio. The only exceptions I’ve known of were elderly people that have paid the home off, but lack the resources to maintain the home.

What should the citizens do? We can’t ask for new rules, that’s not the problem. The current rules are only selectively enforced. We need to demand enforcement of the city code. We need to vote for people that understand the impact that this environment has on everyone; the renter, the neighbors, and the businesses.

 

Old broke house in Newark, Ohio
Probably unoccupied. Gutters have been down over a year, A/C still in window in winter.

These problems happen in every city. It’s only a matter of time before Newark’s city government finally figures out that you can’t ignore the problem, nor can you keep feeding the problem by not condemning homes where compliance is refused.

These are also GREAT examples of why federal programs for local problems are a huge waste. If left unchecked, we need only look to Detroit’s abandoned neighborhoods.

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