Blighted Properties


Blight ExampleThe Spot Blight Program
One way that Prince William County fights the effects of deterioration in neighborhoods is through the 'Spot Blight' program. This process is managed by the Neighborhood Services Division staff. The program's purpose is to identify 'blighted' properties and seeks to have unsafe structures repaired, renovated or demolished by the property owner as a first resort and then by the County at the owner's cost as a last resort. The County must always seek the least drastic and costly alternative.


The County has the authority to require property owners maintain structures so that they are safe and habitable. The State of Virginia provides localities like the County authority to repair, renovate or demolish structures if the parcel owner fails to maintain them. When and if the County incurs costs, that cost will be charged to the property owner is a lien on the parcel.


Blight is defined by the Code of Virginia as 'Any individual commercial, industrial or residential structure or improvement that endangers the publics health safety or welfare because the structure or improvement upon the property is dilapidated, deteriorated or violates minimum health and safety standards or any structure previously designated as blighted pursuant to Section 36-49.1:1 under the process for determination of 'spot blight.'

Prince William County adds its own criteria to this definition. The structure must have at least one of the following:

  • Vacant or boarded for at least one year
  • Subject of documented complaints (that is calls for PWC Police service, graffiti, fire incidents or Property Code complaints)
  • Not maintained for useful occupancy
  • Lacks normal maintenance and upkeep



Contact Neighborhood Services

If you have questions about the Spot Blight program please contact the Neighborhood Services Division of PWC's Department of Public Works at 703-792-7018 or [email protected]. Neighborhood Services is located at 5 County Complex Court, Suite 280 Prince William, VA 22192.