Morning Headlines: Philadelphia’s War Against Blight Continues

The city's focused efforts are starting to show results.

Photo credit: Wolfram Burner via Flickr

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.

Hersh credits 2010’s Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act for arming cities in Pennsylvania with the means to address abandoned buildings.  One of the measures used includes “extradition of out-of-state owners in cases where deteriorated property was not brought to code.”

Another force knuckling down on vacant properties is L&I. The Department of Licenses and Inspections has been adamant about following the “Doors and Windows” ordinance wherein owners are written up for not having doors or windows. NewsWorks reports a proud Maura Kennedy, L&I’s executive director of Development Services, said:

“The city’s saying to them, ‘If you own land in the city of Philadelphia, you need to maintain it. And this study has shown that our efforts have worked,” Kennedy said. “It has not only improved the quality of life for neighbors, but it has improved the value of real estate in the city and improved the city’s bottom line by collecting much-needed license and permit fees.”

Measures aimed at fighting blight making a difference in Philly [NewsWorks]

And onto other news…

Will new towers boost Philly rents, or cut them? [PhillyDeals]

The battle for the future of Washington Avenue West in South Philadelphia [Keystone Edge]

Will Franklin Square Station ever reopen? [PlanPhilly]

Montgomery County Human Services Ctr Sells for $17.5M [CoStar Group]

Another apartment building proposed for Columbus Square, this one on the city-owned parking lot [Passyunk Post]

Ground broken on Science Center’s first residential project [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]