Mayor's Problem Properties Unit
Mayor Gary Christenson formed the Problem Properties Unit (PPU) to address the nuisance properties in our neighborhoods, including illegal rooming houses, vacant and abandoned properties, and properties with a history of public safety complaints and code violations. The Mayor chairs the PPU and it consists of:
- The City Controller
- Compliance Officers
- A Malden resident
- Representatives from the:
- Board of Health
- Building Department
- City Council
- Fire and Police Departments
- Legal Department
- Malden Redevelopment Authority
Enforcement / Remediation
A problem property includes violations of building, fire, zoning health or sanitation codes and often presents itself as a health hazard or public safety concern. The Unit receives referrals from neighbors, police or fire officials and City Councillors who suspect abandonment, considerable neglect, or in some cases, illegal activity. The multi-departmental Unit takes a proactive approach and coordinates its efforts to review possible solutions and identify available resources to remedy the particular problem. The goal is to secure the owner’s cooperation in taking the necessary steps to bring the property in compliance.
The Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA) offers low-interest loans that may assist in the financing of the needed remediation. Learn more about the MRA Low-Interest Home Loan Program.
If a property owner fails to cooperate or if the situation is urgent and warrants immediate attention then fines may be issued, the City may take the appropriate steps to intervene and correct the problem or the matter may be referred to the Legal Department. After all other avenues have been exhausted and for egregious properties that have a long history of violations and complaints, the Unit may utilize Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111, Section 127I, which provides the mechanism for housing receivership. Since the Unit’s inception in February 2012, there have been significant results in terms of cleaning up properties and improving the quality of life in the City’s neighborhoods.
Vacant & Foreclosed Properties
The number of vacant properties has increased as a result of the current economic climate. A single abandoned property that is not maintained can significantly impact an entire neighborhood. In response, the Malden City Council has revised the vacant property ordinance which requires registration fees and minimum standards of maintenance. The revised ordinance is designed so that the fees collected are deposited into a revolving fund that serves as a resource to address those properties that are seriously neglected and not maintained. The Director of Public Health/Permits, Inspections and Planning Services conducts the inspections of the vacant properties and then effectuates any clean-ups when needed.
All property, whether occupied or vacant, must be maintained in good repair and in a safe and sanitary condition. Nuisances such as overgrowth, debris, and trash cause blight in our neighborhoods and impair public health and safety. By working together to address properties that may be of concern we can keep our neighborhoods safe and clean.