Phoenix bans plywood for vacant REOs

Transparent plastic covers are now required

Phoenix residents and government officials decided to take a stand against blight and now is one of the first cities to start mandating the use of reinforced plastic to cover windows instead of plywood.

That's right: Phoenix just banned plywood for boarding up vacant REOs.

The thin, nearly indestructible polycarbonate sheets must look like glass from the outside, so the house does not stand out as abandoned.

As a result, Phoenix City councilwoman Kate Gallego said it not only keeps neighborhoods looking nice – it’s less likely to attract vandals, or other criminal activity. Plus, plywood is relatively easy to circumvent.

The city passed a new ordinance that said if a house is abandoned for more than 90 days, crews would install sheets of polycarbonate. So far, the city has installed the plastic windows on about 25 homes.

SecureView is a provider of polycarbonate sheets now required in order to secure vacant and abandoned properties without exposing their vacancy to onlookers.

“Communities across America are voicing their concerns about blight, and, based on my years of boots-on-the-ground experience, I feel that one of the major impacts of community blight is plywood,” said Robert Klein, chairman and co-founder of SecureView.

“Those voices were heard by Phoenix lawmakers who worked with their community to implement a clear boarding solution. This ordinance change is exciting for Phoenix and other cities who have chosen to implement clear boarding solutions, SecureView, for securing vacant properties," Klein tells HousingWire.

"This solution is a positive change in improving the security and safety of not only the property, but the community as a whole," he added.

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