Upstate Cities in New York State Collaborate with Tech to Combat Blight

Schenectady, Troy and two other local governments in the State have partnered with the Center for Technology in Government to develop a platform that will share data and stem the increase in urban blighted buildings.

Squatters in abandoned housing and buildings often start fires that spread. Demolishing structures is a costly prospect. Basically, for local government the best course of action is to reduce the number of buildings that become blighted.

UAlbany’s Center for Technology in Government is partnering with the upstate cities. This cooperative work is part of a pilot program that aims to share critical code-enforcement data that the participating governments are hopeful will enable them to take a more proactive approach to the problem.

All of the participating cities collect code enforcement data such as names, contact information and addresses for building owners that can be useful, if shared and deployed effectively.

To use this data the participating cities are working with vendors to build software, and hope to have most of the local governments online together by the end of the summer.

A large portion of the work is being funded by a grant from the New York State Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency Program.