Twardzik, Argall Announce Advancement of Anti-Blight Bill
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill) and Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) announced Twardzik’s bill to authorize registries of vacant and blighted properties passed the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee Wednesday. The bill concept comes from a statewide blight tour the House Urban Affairs Committee took last session. 

“Blighted properties affect every community across the Commonwealth, devaluing neighbors’ properties, increasing crime, and posing health and safety risks. By permitting municipalities to create registries of vacant and blighted properties, we are giving our communities another tool to combat these issues,” said Twardzik. “Sen. Argall and I have worked together on fighting blight and his experience helped the Senate committee understand the importance of this and other blight-fighting bills working their way to the governor’s desk.”

“Blighted, decaying, rat-infested buildings can infect a community like the plague by straining property values, breeding crime and posing a serious threat to our safety and well-being,” said Argall. “This bill will arm local governments with more tools to help them fight back and either restore these properties or tear them down for good. Rep. Twardzik has done an excellent job pushing this bipartisan bill forward.”

The Vacant Property Registration Act will allow municipalities to enforce registration fees on vacant properties, maintaining a list of such properties and submitting it annually to relevant authorities. It penalizes non-compliance and offers exemptions under certain conditions, aiming to shift the burden of addressing vacancy and blight from responsible property owners to those neglecting their properties. Additionally, the act mandates the creation of a fund for remediation efforts and education about the impacts of vacancy and blight on communities.

The panel additionally approved House Bill 1207, which would allow municipalities of any size to establish land banks. 

The bills now go to the full Senate for consideration. 

Representative Tim Twardzik
123rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Will Jones
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