Anchorage Officials Take on Code Scofflaws After Decade of Inaction
"With a court order in hand, city contractors in yellow vests drove excavators around a rotting cabin on a dead-end road in South Anchorage this week, scooping up huge piles of junk.
It was the kind of cleanup that hadn't happened in years. Since taking office in 2015, the administration of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and the Anchorage Assembly have been exercising legal and financial methods to get the owners of abandoned and blighted properties to secure, clean up and fix what they own. Officials say the properties attract crime and drive down the value of neighboring homes.
The effort has so far included court orders, a new pool of cleanup funds and the boarding-up of buildings that have become magnets for crime and other problems. City attorneys are exploring different aspects of the foreclosure process as a way to apply pressure and also repay city expenses.
Recently, the city came up with a "priority list" of the 10 properties that officials regard as some of Anchorage's worst nuisances."