HARRISBURG, June 25, 2021 — By a wide, bipartisan margin, the state Senate today approved a proposal by state Sen. Jim Brewster to help counties create a fund to remediate blighted properties and restore communities.
“Run-down buildings and abandoned properties bring down the value of entire neighborhoods and promote more decay,” Brewster said. “We need to give local government the tools they need to tear down, fix up and restore blighted neighborhoods.”
Senate Bill 574 will establish a demolition and rehabilitation fund in each county through a fee collected from sheriff sales or mortgage foreclosures. The fee will be capped at $250.
In addition to the purchase price, the bureau conducting the sale of the property or the sheriff in a mortgage foreclosure will collect the fee.
“Cash-strapped local communities need help to rebound from years of decline and population shifts,” Brewster said. “With the housing market exploding and young people looking for a more convenient urban lifestyle, the time is right to make key investments.”
The fund established may be used by the county, any not-for-profit or pro-profit corporation that has a contract with the county or a taxing district, redevelopment authority, land bank or other government entity, for the demolition or rehabilitation of blighted property located in the county.
The bill is the second Brewster authored measure to pass the Senate this week. It now heads to the House.