New Haven to Inspect Vacant Buildings After Recent Demolition

Hours after New Haven officials demolished a crumbling, vacant downtown building, they took to the streets to ensure the safety of the city’s more than 3,000 empty structures.

"Right now, I have seven field inspectors and they’re out there everyday and I just talked to them and told them, 'Keep your eyes open. Look at everything,'" said New Haven building official Jim Turcio.

Just a day after the building at the corner of Orange and Chapel Streets was torn down, three other structures were given demolition orders:

  • 254 Kimberly Avenue: Owner has 30 days to fix damage including missing walls and open rooftop before city tears down building.
  • Property on Congress Avenue: Owner has 48 hours to fix damage including collapsing roof before city tears down building.
  • Clifton Street: City officials plan to tear down former Habitat For Humanity home Wednesday morning, approved demolition by organization.

"What we’re going to look at is how long it takes us to do the inspections and, if we have to see if we can dig deep and hire more people to do that, then we’ll look into doing that," said Mayor Toni Harp.

Since February, the city has received about 70 complaints of unsafe structures in New Haven.

Harp said it takes help from the public to address them.

"If you see a building in your community that’s old, it’s been vacant for a long time, call us and we’ll come take a look," said Harp.

Turcio said taking care of the problems are part of an even bigger plan.

"We’ll be putting a plan together to go through starting with every vacant commercial building in the city and then every commercial building in the city afterwards," he said.

Turcio said last time there was a mass review of vacant structures was about 18 years ago. He said it could take take up to three years to finish looking at all the buildings.

A local historian said Monday the demolished building at Orange and Chapel streets had gone uninspected for years.

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