10/28/11 -- Tackling Vacant Properties
Initiative to Hold Vacant Property Owners Responsible for Blight
Date: 10/28/11
Mayor Nutter announced a new effort to reduce the number of vacant and blighted properties in Philadelphia. The goal of the initiative is to provide incentives for owners to repair or sell their properties to someone who will repair it. The initiative will better hold private owners accountable for the maintenance of their vacant property.

One priority of the new initiative will focus on finding names and addresses for the owners of vacant properties.

The initiative will also enforce the doors and windows ordinance, which allows License and Inspection (L&I) to ask the court to fine owners $300 a day per opening that is not covered with a functional door or window. Properties in violation will be marked by a bright pink poster.

Furthermore, State Act 90, sponsored by Rep. John Taylor, allows the Department to ask the court to attach the fines to an owners personal property. Also, the Department can leverage these fines to bring a property to sheriff sale.

L&I have indentified 25,000 unoccupied structures believed to be vacant and blighted properties in Philadelphia. A study commissioned by the RDA and the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations had determined that vacant property costs property owners an average $8,000 per household, with an estimated $3.8 million in lost household wealth.

Aaron Colsher, 215.948.9285 x105
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