Philadelphia cracking down on owners of rundown properties
By Miriam Hill
Inquirer Staff Writer
Standing outside a blighted property in Port Richmond, Mayor Nutter declared war on people who neglect vacant buildings and lots.
“Let me put all property owners on notice right now,” Nutter said. “Philadelphia residents should not have to put up with this kind of crap. If you’re not being responsible, we’re going to come find you.”
At a Wednesday news conference, the mayor announced a three-part strategy to address vacant properties, widely considered one of the city’s largest and most costly challenges.
Nutter plans to:
Identify owners of vacant, blighted lots and buildings.
Begin fining them $300 a day for each window and door not up to code, meaning they must be usable and not boarded up.
Take owners who do not comply to Municipal Court’s new “blight court,” which can force them to fix their properties or pay the fines. The court has muscle because of a state law passed last year that lets the city go after owners’ personal assets if they don’t comply.