Municipalities focusing on improving ordinances to fight against slumlords and blight

Harrisburg

Many Midstate communities deal with slumlords. The question is what do you do about them? We checked in with two municipalities working to strengthen ordinances and target property owners who are not in compliance. 

Steelton Borough Manager Doug Brown says they have been looking at more aggressive options to crack down on slumlords and blighted properties.

On Monday, the borough council approved an ordinance that will hold owners of vacant or foreclosed properties more accountable for upkeep and maintenance.

“They will have to let the codes office know the owner of the property, the status of the property,” said Brown, “They must also provide a legal 24-hour contact who can address problems at the property or respond to notices of violations.”

Brown says it’s not uncommon for property ownership to change, and sometimes properties are owned by LLC’s which make it more difficult to contact someone.

Property owners must register twice a year and pay a combined fee of $600.  Failure to register will result in additional charges plus a $500 fine per day.

Carlisle Borough Council members have had discussions with residents about improving its current ordinance.

Borough manager Matt Candland says they have had productive meetings and progress is expected,

Candland says Carlisle does not have a slumlord problem, but some property owners need to do better., The hope is that an updated ordinance will prevent more problems in the future.

Candland says the borough council will continue to hold discussions, and the hope is to have a new ordinance in place in the near future.

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