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Town of Randolph working to make homes safer

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RANDOLPH (WGME) -- There's a push in the town of Randolph to make homes safer.

"We just really want a town that looks good and is safe," says Mark Roberts, chair of the Randolph Board of Selectmen.

Roberts says they're touring the town to get properties up to code.

"We take notice of ones that just don't look so good," says Roberts, "Ones with holes in the roofs, which then you've got another issue of structural problems, mold and electrical issues."

Roberts says problems like that lead to concerns about the well-being of people living inside. Those fears are just as strong when it comes to vacant buildings.

"You worry about kids getting in, you worry about other people causing problems, fires starting," Roberts says, "If the rescue personnel don't know there's an unoccupied building, they may risk their life to go in for nobody."

Rather than go through the court system to address these problems, Roberts says the town's code enforcement officer is approaching homeowners in person.

"We have our top eight, there's more than that, that we're investigating, but right now there's the eight that we're really looking at and there's two that are high on our CEO's priority list," Roberts says.

If property owners can't afford the fixes, the town will work with them.

"What our CEO has been going, sitting down with them and saying, 'Alright, these are the problems, what'll it take to have you have some changes?'," says Roberts.

The town also has what it calls a revolving loan fund, a low-interest loan for certain improvements.

Roberts says it's about safety and the town's tax base.

"so if we make them safe, people can live there, they may want to improve it, which helps our tax base," says Roberts.

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