“It’s unfortunate that we have to begin a demolition process to get people to do something with their property,” Macek said. “For whatever reason, people let the properties fall into disrepair, which isn’t fair to our neighborhoods.”
The mayor’s push to demolish the buildings is part of the city’s new and aggressive effort to clean up abandoned and deteriorated properties in Haverhill. He has estimated there are at least 100 such properties in the city.
Last year, the council passed an ordinance requiring absentee owners – often a bank or similar entity that holds a mortgage on the property – to pay $250 to register their buildings with the city. The owners are subject to fines of up $300 per week if they don’t register or if they fail to provide basic maintenance on a property once it is uninhabited. The city has also been going to court to ask judges to appoint receivers to take over and repair some abandoned buildings.