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Date March, 2003
Client The Pennsylvania Low Income Housing Coalition
Length 36 pages

resource guide

Reclaiming Abandoned Pennsylvania

This publication, first released in 2003, is in its 3rd printing and Pennsylvania has adopted virtually all of its innovative recommendations into law. This publication laid out a comprehensive legislative agenda of state level actions to make it faster, easier and cheaper for local communities to address blight. Due to the effective advocacy of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, the following legal reforms have been adopted since 2003:

2018- State creates an accelerated foreclosure process for vacant and abandoned properties and provides Redevelopment Authorities with critical land bank powers to acquire tax delinquent properties from tax sale through a streamlined process.
2015- Amend Real Estate Tax Sale Law to give tax claim bureaus the power to recover from a subsequent sale of a property the cost of rehabilitation or maintenance necessary to address safety issues.
2013- Authorized the creation of land banks.
2010- Act 90 gave local governments new powers to hold owners personally liable for private properties including permit denial and asset attachment. The law also gives counties the authority to create a specialized housing or blight court.
2008- Passed a conservatorship law authorizing trespass by court-approved non-profits, governments, individuals or businesses to improve a privately owned property.
2006- Adopted three "small fixes" to allow credit bureaus to report tax debt, owners to donate properties in lieu of taxes and Redevelopment Authorities to force a vacant property into probate.
2004- State eliminated the redemption period for vacant properties sold at tax sale to make properties more marketable and streamlined tax foreclosure of multiple properties through a single petition.