Midday Headlines: Why City-Owned Blight Is So Hard to Get Rid Of

L&I has its hands tied when it comes to this.

The city still festers with zombie properties, many of which have the label “imminently dangerous.” But we already know this, know the age-old adage of the sneaky slumlord skipping town to avoid fines or worse. But what of city-owned blight that endangers surrounding buildings and people? Doesn’t the government get around to fixing/demolishing its own first? Short answer, not exactly. From the Daily News:

Records that L&I provided to the Daily News show that those government agencies – PHA, the city’s Department of Public Property, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. – also own about 260 other properties that L&I has deemed “unsafe” and in need of repair or demolition within 30 days. All told, those agencies own about 6 percent of the city’s estimated 5,100 dangerous properties.

PHA, meanwhile, has the largest scattered-site portfolio of any public-housing agency in the country. Of the estimated 4,000 properties that PHA owns, L&I has deemed 114 unsafe and 12 imminently dangerous.

At this point you’re probably wondering why these agencies aren’t being held accountable…

L&I can’t take another city agency to court.

And that’s just one of the reasons. To give you an idea: budget issues, federal government ties, maddeningly long waiting periods for demo permission, etc.

260 unsafe buildings belong to city agencies [Daily News]

Meanwhile, in other news…

New Homes Coming to 2400 Block of Coral Street [Naked Philly]

Demolition next to day care in Bryn Mawr raises concerns [Main Line Times]

Development across from Clark Park awaits zoning board approval [Daily Pennsylvanian]