Philadelphia officials are planning to crack down on illegal “pop-up” nightclubs and parties in vacant properties in the wake of a deadly fire that left 36 dead at a warehouse-turned-art-colony in Oakland last week. Read more »
We’ve been waiting for it since the beginning of the year, but now that the city’s new Land Bank is expected to launch in 2015, some worry the blueprints for the plan need improvement.
The Daily News’ Valerie Russ reports that advocates of affordable housing are less than impressed with the Philadelphia Land Bank’s draft strategic plan and see it as being “too general.” Said Nora Lichtash of the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities:
““We want to make sure that when they transfer land to get rid of blight, that they’re doing it in a way to ensure that not only market-rate development takes place, but there’s also affordable development that comes back out of the land bank.”
Blight causes more than the figurative death of each building it touches: there’s loss of community history as well. Funeral for a Home honors that loss with a “funeral service” held in the memory of former Philadelphia homes and the lives they once housed. (Pictured above is the next home to be commemorated in May.)
Zombies may be among us, but not the way Walking Dead fans might think. RealtyTrac recently released the February edition of its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which showed foreclosure filings going down significantly, but zombie foreclosures still making up 21% of them.
So what exactly is a zombie property?
Two days into 2014 we wondered if plans to relieve Philadelphia of abandoned properties would yield significant changes. Now, only a month later, it appears we’re getting an answer: Efforts to alleviate blight plaguing the city are already showing results.
Newsworks reports that according to Liz Hersh, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, home sale prices have increased by about 31%, thus relieving nearby properties from suffering the consequences of living near deteriorating buildings.
At long last the much anticipated and nationally acknowledged Land Bank has become official. Yesterday, Mayor Nutter signed the bill that permits the formation of a division in charge of taking over Philadelphia’s tax-delinquent and vacant properties, and selling them to buyers.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez estimates that the bank, which will be a branch of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., will require somewhere between $3 million and $5 million to get going. With more than 11,000 properties throughout the city, is that really surprising?