Program brings dilapidated homes up to code

The city has launched a new effort to bring abandoned and dilapidated homes into compliance with state sanitary codes. Mayor Ted Bettencourt recently announced that Peabody has joined the state attorney general’s Abandoned Housing Initiative. Under the program, blighted properties are assigned to court-appointed third-party receivers who assume responsibility for bringing them up to code. “Abandoned homes are not just unsightly but they pose a real threat to public safety,” Bettencourt said in a statement. To have Peabody join the program, Bettencourt directed the city’s Code Enforcement Division to inventory problem properties , those which have fallen into disrepair and whose owners failed to respond to requests by the city to correct the deficiencies. The city has submitted a list of 12 properties to the attorney general’s office for possible inclusion in the program. Typically, the attorney general’s office will conduct a title search of a property in question and then give all parties with an interest in the title the chance to make repairs. If no repairs are made, the office will petition the court to enforce the sanitary code and appoint the receiver to carry out the work.