I am excited to announce that Council approved today the passage of bill 2013-1666, Maintenance of Abandoned Properties Pending Foreclosure. The ordinance establishes a vacant property registry for abandoned residential properties pending foreclosure. With this bill, an additional tool is provided to the City to hold lender and mortgage servicers accountable for the maintenance of abandoned homes to which foreclosure proceedings have been initiated.
The goal of the vacant property registry is to establish a blight prevention model that incentivizes creditors to get their properties up to code, and to clarify property stewardship for abandoned properties that are pending foreclosure. It is intended to reduce and prevent neighborhood blight, to ameliorate conditions that threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public, to promote neighborhood stability and residential owner occupancy by preserving the condition and appearance of residential properties, and to maintain residential property values and assessments.
This bill will be an important step in cleaning up vacant properties left decaying in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. By holding lender and mortgage servicers accountable for the maintenance of abandoned homes, properties can be saved from further deterioration, staunching one of the wounds that can lead to neighborhood blight. It effectively closes the loophole whereby a foreclosure proceeding is initiated but the deed is not transferred to the lender, leaving maintenance responsibilities to an owner who has since left the property. With the implementation of this bill, in such situations, the lender will be held responsible for the maintenance of these abandoned properties.
To read the bill in its entirety, click on this link. For more information on the ordinance, please contact the District 6 office at 412-255-2134.
R. Daniel Lavelle