Senate Panel Approves Measure to Fight Neighborhood Blight

(HARRISBURG)  The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee today approved two matters aimed at combating neighborhood blight according to its chairman, Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock.

Yaw said Senate Bill 900 creates the Neighborhood Blight and Revitalization Act.  This bill would allow a lien to be placed against the assets of an owner of a blighted property after a judgment decree is entered by a court against the legal owner of the property.

Additionally, the bill would streamline the judicial process to help clarify who owns the property and would add provisions to return owners of state property to face criminal prosecution.

The bill would also require the mortgage lender to maintain the properties when default occurs, until there is a new owner of the property.

“It is important that we in the General Assembly recognize and support homeowners who take pride and spend a lot time and hard work in maintaining their properties.  All too often, a neighborhood can become an eyesore because of just one or two blighted properties,” Yaw said.  “This is a rural issue as much as an urban issue and we need to address it so to protect the property values of homeowners.

“I am hopeful this action will provide our local municipalities with the tools necessary in combating this problem across the Commonwealth,” he added.

Senate Resolution 142 was also reported out of committee.

This resolution would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to complete a study and cost analysis of the implementation of a statewide blight database, report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the Senate no later than three months from passage of this resolution.

Both Senate Bill 900 and Senate Resolution 142 now move to the full Senate for consideration.

Contact: Adam Pankake
(717) 787-3280