"Adopt a vacant house" to promote safer neighborhoods
Vacant properties can pose safety challenges for everyone - from neighbors, to property owners, to police officers and firefighters. The City of Minneapolis is taking comprehensive measures to make all our neighborhoods safer, including those affected by foreclosed or vacant properties. And there are lots of things that everyone can do to make neighborhoods with vacant properties the safest they can be. City leaders are encouraging neighbors and block clubs to work together by "adopting" a vacant property on the block. It’s important for neighbors to report any suspicious or illegal activity by calling 911.
- If you see someone inside or around a vacant property, call 911. Take care not to confront someone who is trespassing or living temporarily in a vacant property.
- Report a property that is open to trespass (including one that has not yet been boarded), or if you observe anything on the property that could be a health or safety issue by calling 311.
- Check on a vacant property occasionally to ensure doors and windows are closed and that the building is not open to trespass.
- You may maintain the public space—sidewalks and alleys—around vacant properties. As long as you stay on public space, it’s all right to shovel snow, rake leaves, and pick up or remove flyers and litter.
- Remember if you do maintain a property, it’s not OK to dig, climb on a building, enter a building or make improvements to vacant property before you have written consent from the property owner.
- If your block has a property with an ongoing problem, call your Crime Prevention Specialist at your police precinct. They can work with you to resolve a variety of "problem property" issues.
Published Feb. 22, 2008