Bobby Henon, 6th District City Councilman, spoke to the Lawncrest Civic Association recently regarding several pieces of legislation including his highly supported Bad Neighbor Initiative.
Henon’s focus with this Initiative is on negligent homeowners, absentee landlords and slumlords who have violations against their properties. The initiative aims to end neighborhood blight, which decreases property values in Philadelphia.
“I have drawn a direct correlation from property owners who have had property violations and tax delinquency to property value decreases by 20 percent,” Henon said.
The initiative will compile violations lodged by many city departments to hone in on problem properties. The owners of these properties will incur heavy fines.
One Lawncrest Civic member asked Henon how the city would collect the fines. Henon said he would subpoena the landlords.
“I’m taking the properties to sheriff sale,” Henon said. “But a few people have already come in and got on payment plans. That’s accomplishing something.”
Henon explained there will be incentives for problem properties to improve but focusing on gathering information is first and foremost.
“The trouble neighbors don’t care who they rent to, they just want to collect money,” Henon said. “We want to take a different approach and shame these people into doing what’s right.”