Community Initiatives Education Outreach Extends Nationwide
During the first quarter of 2015, the Safeguard Properties Community Initiatives Department travelled across the country to meet with municipal leaders and deliver educational messages regarding the servicing industry’s best practices in preserving vacant properties.
Safeguard’s Community Initiatives Outreach: First Quarter, 2015
The first quarter of 2015 provided continued opportunities for Safeguard’s community initiatives department to deliver outreach and education to municipal leaders across the country. These opportunities generally stemmed from community representatives telling other cities of their success in receiving assistance and solutions from Safeguard to address vacant and abandoned properties.
The community initiatives department focuses on two fundamental areas. The first is an overview of the servicing industry’s best practices in preserving vacant properties. And the second is detailed information and a demo of Compliance Connections®, an innovative technology solution that connects relevant parties to preserve the value of communities and real estate portfolios.
Safeguard’s Director of Community Initiatives Michael Halpern states, “Municipal staff members on all levels often lack the necessary perspective. It is our objective to keep properties off the radar of code enforcement by following the required industry property preservation guidelines. Therefore, they may not be aware of all the efforts and expenditures of the industry. When issues arise at a particular property, they typically view these properties as the rule, opposed to the exception. We try to share the message of common goals and partnerships throughout communities”.
Creating channels of open communication continues to be the biggest challenge for code officers, yet it is attainable. By becoming familiar with banking and servicing procedures, local code enforcement and building officials have been able to identify and communicate directly with the proper loan servicer. This eases the frustration of not receiving a response to their warnings and violation notices that may have been unintentionally sent to the wrong parties.
Compliance Connections is offered at no cost to communities across the country. This system removes the burden of research from code officers and creates transparency by utilizing public, private and proprietary databases. This solution identifies the responsible party, facilitates direct communication, and expedites compliance with local code.
“We hear time and time again about the positive change in local perception regarding the servicing industry, as well as the cost savings to the industry and the city. It is a win-win for all,” says Safeguard’s Community Relations Liaison Heather Lazar, who believes Compliance Connections is the solution to connect the necessary parties working to preserve communities nationwide.
Safeguard’s community initiatives department would like to extend its appreciation to the following organizations for allowing it to participate in various ways to share the industry’s message during the first quarter of 2015:
- International Association of City Clerks, Jacksonville, FL
- Michigan Association of Housing Officials, Lansing, MI
- Code Enforcement Association of Texas, Beaumont, TX
- EduCode, Las Vegas, NV
- Mississippi Association of Code Enforcement, Vicksburg, MS
- Utah Ordinance Compliance Association, Wendover, NV
- Connecticut Association of Zoning Enforcement Officials, Wallingford CT
- New Jersey Conference of Mayors, Atlantic City, NJ
Non-profit organizations play a critical role in our outreach. The department continues to work with state and national groups that can also benefit from resources that create win-win opportunities for local communities and the industry.
After the recent National Community Reinvestment Coalition annual conference (Washington, DC), and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey workshop (Trenton NJ), the department will soon be attending conferences and events hosted by:
- Center for Community Progress, Detroit, MI
- Smart Growth America, Washington, DC
- National Housing Conference, Washington, DC
For additional information regarding the department and its activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.