Council Committee Okays Tougher Oversight Of Foreclosed Properties

Seeking to reduce the number of visibly blighted properties in Philly, a City Council committee today approved legislation that would require banks that obtain foreclosed properties to appoint a local manager and keep the building up to code.

Councilman Bill Greenlee, who sponsored the measure along with Councilwoman Marian Tasco, said the bill is designed to keep tighter watch over vacant foreclosed properties, which can easily fall into disrepair.

“It’s not a cure-all, but I think it will have an effect,” Greenlee said.

The legislation, which has support from the Nutter administration, would require anyone who acquires a foreclosed property to register with the city and ensure the building is up to code within 15 days. If the owner is not in Philadelphia, they must appoint a city-based manager and details of the owner and manager must be posted on the building.

“Not only does it let the community and everyone know who to contact, but if my name is on that property, I’m more likely to be attentive,” said Greenlee, who noted that similar legislation is in place in Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI.

The bill now moves on for full Council approval.

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