The City of Hartford wants the owners of blighted properties to fix them up, pay up or give them up.
Thursday night at a town hall Mayor Luke Bronin addressed the blight issue consuming the capitol city.
"When you have a blighted property it can be a cancer in a neighborhood," Bronin said.
In addition to affecting property values, Bronin said the eyesores can affect the spirit of the city, which is why Hartford has a new plan in place.
According to Bronin, a team is in place with the primary focus of combating blight. That team includes an enforcement official, two inspectors, two inspector trainees and a program manager.
In addition to the team, a land bank has been established to serve as an entity that takes ownership of properties and builds public-private partnerships to get properties fixed. The city has also overhauled the existing blight ordinance, partnered with the Neighborhood Revitalization Zones to learn their priorities and mapping out problem properties across the city.
"We found 320 properties around the city that were blighted vacant and we started to notify those owners," Bronin said.
Hartford resident Natasha Dickenson purchased a blighted property. She hopes with the city’s support can be an asset to her community not a deterrent.
"I’m excited to start to build up the neighborhood and the value of that neighborhood," she said.
Bronin said Hartford is dedicated to helping property owners who are dedicated to bettering their properties. Just as important as moving the process along, he says, is to come, "to the table with a set of tools that can help property owners actually get their property fixed up when you have an owner that wants to do the right thing."
The city’s efforts are already underway and officials say some communities should see real change by the end of the summer. Their ultimate goal is to fix up 100 blighted properties per year.