Vacancy & Blight

Decades of disinvestment in some of our neighborhoods and declining conditions in oncestable neighborhoods have created a scourge of vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and poor property conditions, harming those that chose to remain, or who can’t afford to live in more attractive, safer neighborhoods. These blighted conditions also strip wealth from neighborhood property owners, as home values near vacant properties are decreased by an average of $8,000 according to a recent study1 . The City took major steps toward implementation of the Philadelphia Land Bank in 2014 in order to more strategically address vacant properties and get them into productive re-use more quickly, as well as improved Code enforcement on vacant properties in order to hold owners accountable to their neighbors. The next Council and Administration must maintain a strong commitment to both of these strategies, ensure that L&I has adequate resources to hold landlords accountable for poor property conditions, and help low-income homeowners become Code compliant through assistance with needed repairs.