This news is too awesome for words. If you read my blog, you know that blight is something I post about along with brownfield reclamation. These issues are pivotal to places like Pottstown and their redevelopment. We need to attract middle class taxpaying homeowners and business/industry to reestablish the tax base. Getting rid of run-down properties is certainly one way to do that! Nobody wants to live in or locate a business in a blighted neighborhood.
The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act, Senate Bill 900, unanimously passed in the PA Senate and is under review by the House Urban Affairs Committee.
This bill is aimed at slumlords and their neglected properties. If passed, the bill gives municipalities the ability to place liens against the property owners TOTAL ASSETS, not just the property in question. It also gives municipalities the power of extradition against out-of-state slumlords to face charges here in PA! Property owners can be denied permit applications if they are behind on taxes, municipal charges (i.e. sewer/water) or have code violations. County Commissioners would be given the power to establish a “housing court” that would only deal with housing related offenses!
Of course, there are those opposed because of the total asset seizure provision. IMHO good landlords do not have anything to worry about. They take care of their properties, pay their bills and are an asset to the community. For those who do not play by the rules it is about time there are some real consequences!
If you feel passionate about this bill becoming law, contact your Pennsylvania State Representative and urge him or her to vote yes on this important bill when it comes before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.