The fallout from the financial crisis left millions of properties sitting in foreclosure. Although foreclosure activity has decreased since the height of the crisis, long foreclosure timelines and continued price depression in many areas mean that millions of properties are still vacant — and boarded with plywood.
Unfortunately, boarding with plywood on just one home drives down property values for entire neighborhoods. Boarded houses advertise a property’s vacancy, increasing vandalism and other crimes. Seeing the neighborhood blight that resulted from these plywood-boarded properties inspired Robert Klein, founder of Safeguard Properties, to develop a new product that solved these problems: SecureView.
SecureView is a clear-boarding system that secures properties without plywood, protecting assets for banks while preserving the property value of neighborhoods.
“At SecureView, we’ve created a revolutionary way to secure vacant and abandoned properties without exposing their vacancy to onlookers,” Klein said. “Designed to look like traditional windows, our patented, recycled, alternative board-up system provides clear views and lets in natural light.
“This, in turn, enhances marketability and safety, and allows first responders to see inside in the event of an emergency.”
SecureView is also virtually unbreakable, which means it has the wherewithal to protect property from intrusion, and reduce the crime and squatting so often associated with plywood and steel board ups.
In fact, traditional plywood board may need to be replaced or repaired as many as three times as a result of vandalism, exposure to weather or removal, so installing SecureView saves time and money for those who own the asset.
SecureView provides many benefits, including:
- Crime deterrent: Neighbors, inspectors and first responders can see into property.
- Waterproof and weatherproof: Withstands prolonged exposure to wind and hail without becoming damaged and prevents exposure-related damage to the property.
- Strength: It is 200 times stronger than glass. While SecureView looks like an ordinary window, anything thrown against it will simply bounce off.
- Self-extinguishing: Unlike plywood, no one can light SecureView on fire to gain access to a property.
- Recyclable and reusable.
- Easy to install: It is secured from the inside, using a compression bolt system that will not damage the interior or exterior of a property.
- SecureView can be modified by the customer onsite to fit any window and is quickly and easily installed using a simple but effective compression bolt system.
“Once in place, SecureView proves to be an effective solution to the issue of blight, increasing a property’s value due to improved curb appeal, which in turn helps to stabilize the entire neighborhood,” Klein said.
With so many reasons to use clear boarding, Community Blight Solutions has made it a top priority to educate local communities and city officials about the potential of the product to revitalize whole neighborhoods.
Phoenix recently became one of the first big cities to ban the use of plywood boarding on vacant REO properties, and Klein thinks it’s just the beginning.
“Community Blight Solutions will continue to focus on driving policy and legislative changes, such as fast track legislation, replacing current vacant property boarding practices and eliminating the use of plywood throughout the United States,” Klein said.
“We will also be focused on a recovery project model to provide future homeowners with quality, affordable housing, using a comprehensive block-by-block renovation and demolition approach to neighborhood revitalization.”