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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: April 14, 2023 11:53 AM
From: Representative Abigail Salisbury
To: All House members
Subject: Use It or Lose It: Giving Municipalities More Tools to Redevelop Blighted or Vacant Properties
Blighted and vacant properties are a problem across Pennsylvania. Not only do these kinds of properties pose economic problems for municipalities, but they also pose health and safety risks for Pennsylvanians such as infestation, building collapse, and the potential for serious medical conditions. In 2012, Act 153 permitted municipalities to create a land bank for the purpose of combatting blight.
To provide another tool for municipalities, my legislation will amend Title 68 to allow a municipality to designate a blighted or abandoned property as available for acquisition by a land bank. This would only be done if an owner demonstrates they are not using the property through years of neglect and abandonment. The bill will require a municipality to provide advance notification to a property owner and give ample opportunity for the owner to remediate the property. Additionally, the bill provides an appeal process should a property owner wish to contest the designation. With that said, my legislation will only designate a property as available for acquisition by a land bank and does not require a land bank to act. 
It is my hope that this jolt to the arm will be the momentum needed for neglectful owners to use a property, sell a property, or redevelop a property. With housing inventory at incredibly low levels, we need these tools to redevelop properties now more than ever. 
Research shows that reducing blighted and vacant properties raises property values, improves public health and safety, and unifies communities. We need to hold absent and neglectful property owners accountable and give municipalities more ways to reuse and redevelop land. Please join me in helping our communities by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1163