City-owned blight may be the hardest to get rid of, but in the meantime Licenses and Inspections has been making an effort where it can. Yesterday, L&I petitioned City Council for an additional $2 million to their funding.
If Council approves the request, according to the Inquirer’s Claudia Vargas, L&I believes it could “demolish 650 buildings and seal 1,400 in the fiscal year that starts July 1, and hire an additional 34 employees, including 26 building inspectors.”
An average demolition runs around $15,000, while a clean and seal job, of "a vacant two-story single-family home," reaches about $2,500. Owners are charged with the clean and seals, but since most of them skip out, it's difficult to take them to court and recuperate the money.
Oddly enough, this wasn't exactly addressed at yesterday's hearing. From the Inquirer:
Yet there was no mention in Tuesday's marathon hearing of the money L&I is owed by bad landlords.
That figure, records show, is $5.4 million. It's what the city is owed, along with penalties and interest, for "cleaning and sealing" vacant buildings when the owners didn't do it themselves.
Meanwhile, in other property news...
• An ultra-modern home, built by right in Northern Liberties [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]
• Rocking the suburbs: how the city’s boom will create regional balance [Technical.ly Philly]
• Amid fight to save studio, artist [Daily News]