Nimby Assessment

Vandalism Increases Renovation Costs


Think about the scenario from the perspective of ABC, Inc. as you consider their options for responding below.

Can the state homeless agency waive budget caps under such mitigating circumstances? If so, is political pressure preventing them from doing so now?

  • Submit a formal written request for a waiver of the budget caps to the state office of homeless assistance, based upon the results of the vandalism. Request this waiver as a reasonable accommodation from the budget guideline based upon the protected status of the prospective tenants and the evidence that the vandalism was intended to threaten and intimidate these individuals and their advocates.
  • Appeal the decision through an agency administrative hearing if the State agency does not waive the budget cap.
  • File a lawsuit in Federal court citing a violation of Federal Fair Housing Act, challenging the State's denial of a reasonable accommodation.

Has the county experienced similar property losses in the past? If so, can you find out what their response has been? Are they treating this property differently because of its proposed use?

  • Submit a Freedom of Information Request to the county to obtain data regarding how they have handled similar property losses in the past. That alone may prompt them to make the repairs.
  • Examine the record for evidence that this situation is being treated differently from others. If that appears to be the case, you may register a complaint alleging discriminatory treatment under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Use this information to convince the county to make the repairs, or reduce the selling price of the property to reflect the damages.

What other funds and resources are available? Does the agency have discretionary funds that can be used for the project? Is there a local organization (e.g., community foundation, local development corporation) that will provide grant or loan funds to cover the budget gap? Can you enlist the support of volunteers or donations to cover the budget gap, and eliminate the need for additional funds?

  • Find another source of funds or volunteer labor to cover the budget gap, and request that the state provide a final funding commitment for their share.
  • Exercise your purchase option and take possession of the house. Install an alarm system and make sure you have a good homeowner's insurance policy.

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