City eyes abandoned home registry

City eyes abandoned home registry


The plan is to penalize property owners who just let their abandoned or vacant homes deteriorate.

Evansville and Vanderburgh County Building Commissioner, Ben Miller, says his office is working with the city to formulate a vacant home registry.

Miller says this registry would have every vacant or abandoned home on it.

Property owners would be fined if they don't register.

An owner would also be fined every year a structure remains vacant.

A penalty amount is still being discussed.

 Miller says this will help the city better keep track of neglectful owners and he says this would cut down on abandoned structure fires which often occur after people have been living in vacant homes.

"We would obtain a certificate of insurance, a copy of their certificate of liability insurance on these vacant properties that would be part of that registry," says Miller.

"And so when you have an abandoned house there's a lot of fires that happen in there.  Often times the city ends up having to pay out of the riverboat funding to clean up those properties.  Having the certificate of insurance and the registry would ensure the insurance company would be on the hook for those costs if there was a fire."

The vacant home registry would still need to be approved by the Evansville City Council but Miller says he's received positive feedback so far.

If approved, the registry could be rolled out by as early as mid 2015.

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