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Abstract

Part I of this Article provides a brief introduction to North Carolina's experience thus far with the foreclosure crisis and introduces the broad array of statutorily granted tools local governments might employ to deal with vacant or abandoned dwellings in varying stages of neglect. Part II discusses the general police power that serves as the first line of defense against the decline of vacant or abandoned housing, as well as how that power is limited by state statutes governing minimum housing standards. Part III then turns to those minimum housing statutes to examine their operation and limitations. Part IV analyzes the authority of local governments in North Carolina to implement a policy tool used in other states; namely, a vacant property registration program. Part V concludes by reflecting on the limitations of North Carolina's complex web of code enforcement mechanisms and proposes some ways in which the North Carolina General Assembly could enhance local governments' authority to regulate vacant and abandoned dwellings.

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