City of Fitchburg rolls out a new Vacant Property Registry to combat blight and encourage development.

This month, the City of Fitchburg begins implementation of its new Vacant Property Registry.

The City’s Problem Property Task Force has been working collaboratively, for over a decade, to address problem properties in order to improve the quality of life for our residents, neighborhoods and businesses. Trends and themes that continue to be a challenge generally fall into two categories; severely neglected properties and vacant properties. Vacant properties can have a whole host of unintended consequences that impact the community around them. These potentially unsafe buildings can attract curious kids and unhoused folks, pests can take shelter and start breeding, the blight of a vacant building(s), can lower property values for abutters and entire neighborhoods, and the often uninsured properties can become fire hazards.

In late 2022, the City adopted a vacant property registry in order address some of these challenges and protect and preserve public health, safety, and the quality of life in the City of Fitchburg.

The new initiative will require both residential and commercial property owners to register and properly maintain any 100% vacant, abandoned, foreclosed, or foreclosing residential or commercial property. Owners will pay an initial $100 registration fee, and will have to renew the registration annually. The renewal fees will escalate each year; the first anniversary renewal will be $250, the second will be $2,500, third and each anniversary thereafter will be $3,500. The fees charged are reflective of the administrative costs of monitoring and ensuring property maintenance of these vacant or abandoned buildings and may be used to fund proper maintenance if property owners fail to do so. Owners can register vacant properties on-line at

The City understands sometimes it is unavoidable for a property to be vacant for a period of time. However, for those owners who have held vacant property in Fitchburg for many years, it’s time for them to either develop the property and get it occupied, or sell to someone who will develop the property. In this era of housing shortage and rising housing costs throughout the Commonwealth, now is the time for action- and Fitchburg can be a part of the solution.

Detached, single family homes actively being marketed by a realtor or owner of record and listed for sale on multiple listing service, and properties being developed for affordable housing under certain conditions are exempt from this requirement.

If you would like to report a vacant or potentially vacant property to the City, you can do so through your SeeClickFix smartphone app or through the City’s Report a Concern Page here:

For more information about this please contact Stephen D. Curry, Health Director. You can find the complete vacant property registration ordinance Chapter 137 of the City Code here: