HARRISBURG, Pa (WHTM)- Harrisburg has long had a problem with abandoned homes with some sitting vacant for years until they’re demolished.
“We’ve been dealing with that for quite a time since I was council president and now that I’m Mayor, I see it more than ever,” said Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams.
Williams says absentee landlords are hard to track down, many times because they’re out-of-state.
“They stay abandoned and we try to get in touch with them, no response from the landlords,” said Williams.
The city is looking at some possible solutions to prevent more blighted and vacant buildings.
“We are in discussion, not really final yet, in a discussion about having whoever the landlord has a property manager within a 10 or 15-mile radius,” said Williams.
“While the investor or the owner may not be local to the community, hiring a property management company that is local to the community is very, very important, especially one that has deep ties to the community,” said Justin Heinly, owner of Midtown Property Management.
Heinly wants to see not just local property managers but more local owners, too.
“The way we can drive that is to incentivize owners to come into the city,” said Heinly. “We always try to push our investors that if they no longer have interest in the property, to sell that property to a live-in owner.”