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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 3, 2017 12:14 PM
From: Representative Michael H. O'Brien
To: All House members
Subject: Municipal Property Maintenance Code Assistance Bill
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to establish a grant program to enhance property maintenance code enforcement in municipalities in order to eradicate existing blighted property conditions throughout the Commonwealth as well as to deter new occurrences.

Property maintenance codes are a critical tool to municipalities in fighting blight and in maintaining a safe, healthy, tax-vibrant community. Unfortunately, in a time of ever-shrinking municipal budgets, many municipalities struggle to establish and/or maintain effective code enforcement programs.

My bill (which was introduced last session by former Rep. Ted Harhai as HB 2239) would provide start-up funds for municipalities to develop property maintenance codes and ordinances as well as funding to hire, qualified, professional property maintenance inspectors. For municipalities with existing property maintenance programs, the funding stream could assist them in hiring additional inspectors with qualified training, experience and certification.

The program would be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and would be funded through the imposition of a $1 fee on each construction or building permit issued throughout the state. Grants would be awarded on a competitive basis; criteria would include financial need, organizational capacity, and local property conditions.

Additionally, a municipality must provide matching funds (or in-kind contributions) equal to the amount of the grant.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this crucial legislation.

Introduced as HB1122