Community Development Block Grant
North Providence, RI - Mayor Ralph Mollis
Code Enforcement and Elimination of Slum and Blight Conditions
Together, a systematic code enforcement program and a program to eliminate several blighted structures in the Villages of Centredale and Marieville in North Providence have been instrumental in the successful revitalization of the two low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The two initiatives have complemented the Town's other efforts in these communities - street paving, planned road enhancements and low interest loans for businesses and homeowners, included.
For the code enforcement program, the Town used CDBG funds to hire a part-time housing inspector to assist its full-time inspector in the examination of units in the two Villages. These inspectors also worked with community police officers and members of the fire department to address fire and public safety issues. This approach has enabled the Town to inspect every multi-family structure on a street-by-street basis. Letters are sent to both tenants and owners, court documents are filed when necessary, and follow-up inspections are conducted. The program also provides smoke detectors to units which are not properly equipped.
The program has raised revenues for the Town through fines levied when violations are not corrected in a timely manner. In a two-year period, over 300 units have been inspected, numerous code violations have been eliminated, the incidence of crime has decreased, and the quality of life for residents and business owners in the two neighborhoods has been improved.
The effort to eliminate slum and blight in the neighborhoods has resulted in the demolition of a vacant commercial structure which had been a public eyesore and safety hazard for more than a decade. The Town used a $40,000 grant to accomplish this. The demolition made it possible for a well-known restaurant owner to build an attractive parking facility and open a thriving business in Marieville. The Town also has received payment of the unpaid taxes owed by the previous owner of the structure.
The effort also has resulted in the restoration of the Historic Old Town Hall in Centredale, a structure which had been neglected for nearly 20 years and had become an eyesore. It now is a public attraction which serves as the entrance to the Village of Centredale.
Contact: Office of the Mayor, (401) 232-0900
Housing Repair Programs
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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