Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Bill to Fight Blight

HARRISBURG – The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved legislation today to help municipalities prevent blight and remediate abandoned properties, according to State Senator David G. Argall (R-29).

Senate Bill 900, sponsored by Argall, would hold property owners accountable for the costs to secure, remediate or demolish blighted structures. The bill would also expedite the process of prosecuting owners of blighted properties and give municipalities the authority to go after the financial assets of negligent owners. Today’s vote was the first time legislation of this kind has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“After months of negotiations, I am pleased to finally see this bill advance,” said Argall. The ultimate goal is to see this bill signed by the Governor so that we can increase our efforts to fight blight in communities small and large all across Pennsylvania. This legislation, first championed by my predecessor, Senator Rhoades, will go a long way in helping local governments prevent blight,” Argall added.

Senate Bill 900 would allow for the extradition of out-of-state property owners who have housing code violations pending against them.

In addition, the bill would permit local governments to deny permits to owners of blighted properties, and develop an education program for judges and district magistrates relating to blighted and abandoned property. The legislation would also create county housing courts to fight blight at the local level.

Argall’s legislation was based on the findings and recommendations of the Blight Task Force, a statewide coalition of housing and municipal organizations dedicated to tackling the problems of blighted and abandoned buildings across Pennsylvania and first established by Senator Rhoades.

Senate Bill 900 now goes to the full Senate for its consideration.

Contact: Nick Troutman
(717) 787-2637