The Village of Bellwood passed an ordinance creating a Neighborhood Preservation Program in an effort to prevent the deterioration and abandonment of housing in traditional neighborhoods; preserve, coordinate, and concentrate maintenance efforts in designated areas; promote private investment in housing in those neighborhoods; and promote community involvement in all such activities. The Program sets forth six (6) criteria under which an area is eligible for designation as a Neighborhood Preservation Area, including but not limited to: where there are a substantial number of housing units in violation of existing building codes; where there have been recent increases in adverse housing indicators; and where economic development activities occur that alleviate physical and economic distress through public and private investment, expand economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons, enhance the viability of commercial enterprises serving low and moderate income areas, and meets the goals of a commercial development and/or revitalization strategy.
Under the Program, building residents/owners are required to register vacant buildings within 30 days of vacancy. These owners are also required to maintain the building in a safe and secure condition, post contact information on the building, and keep the building insured. The ordinance also established a Department of Community Relations charged with developing and implementing a residential housing recycling program to ensure a safe, clean, and viable housing market.