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Ohio Bans Plywood For Boarding Up Vacant Homes

housing foreclosure blight property abandoned vacant home rehab real estate
Miami Valley Fair Housing

Ohio Governor John Kasich Wednesday signed into law legislation banning the use of plywood for boarding up abandoned and vacant properties. Ohio is the first state to take that step.

Under the new law, clear polycarbonate window and door coverings will be used instead of plywood to secure empty homes. There is widespread agreement among housing agencies that clear-boarding helps improve the look of blighted neighborhoods.

Jim McCarthy with the Miami Valley Fair Housing group says the practice also creates other benefits for communities.

“It allows light into the structure so it does not create the same opportunity for mold and mildew. It also means that if there are people who get into the structure, they can be seen from outside by neighbors or police so it it makes it easier to monitor the structures that are vacant and abandoned,” he says.

MVFH and other agencies began advocating for alternatives to the use of plywood as early as 2009. McCarthy says he believes other states will follow Ohio’s example to pass similar legislation.


Ohio's move to clear-boarding with polycarbonate is part of a growing trend across the country. The material has been used for several years instead of plywood by mortgage giant Fannie Mae.