Baldelli-Hunt vows to target blight and crack down on absentee landlords

Baldelli-Hunt vows to target blight and crack down on absentee landlords

WOONSOCKET - Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, a state representative and mayoral candidate for Woonsocket, unveiled another piece of her economic development plan for Woonsocket, a new approach that targets blight in the city's neighborhoods and clamps down on absentee landlords who fail to maintain their properties

Baldelli-Hunt said that as mayor, she would implement a strategy she advocated back in January 2009 when the city received $1 million in federal funds for neighborhood redevelopment. At that time, she says she called on city officials to adopt a more strategic approach instead of simply throwing the money away by making short-term cosmetic improvements to mostly non-owner-occupied multi-family houses that could eventually become run down again. Baldelli-Hunt says the city passed on her proposal to clean up problem properties.

"There are state laws which allow the city to go after dangerous, boarded-up properties which are a blight on our neighborhoods. These properties reduce surrounding home values, force responsible home owners out of their own neighborhoods and keep new businesses from entering Woonsocket," said Baldelli-Hunt. "We need to effectively target problem properties and ramp up our enforcement efforts on absentee landlords who ignore housing code violations and fail to maintain their properties. I will provide the active, strong leadership we need to make Woonsocket a great and affordable place to live."