Senate Approves DiSanto Bill to Fight Blight

Harrisburg – Today the Senate unanimously approved legislation sponsored by State Senator John DiSanto (Dauphin/Perry) to equip municipalities with a better enforcement mechanism to crack down on abandoned and dilapidated properties.

Senate Bill 940 enables municipalities to issue condemnation orders on properties that are unfit for human habitation and structurally dangerous to adjacent properties and neighboring residents. Municipalities may file a condemnation order against these non-compliant properties with the county recorder of deeds office and demand corrective action. The order is to be considered a lien on the property and its validity would not be impacted by upset, judiciary, or repository sale of the property. 

“My legislation corrects a major deficiency in current law that limits condemnation orders to a specific owner, not the property,” said DiSanto. “As a result, anytime a condemned property’s ownership changes hands, local officials must expend significant time repeating their code enforcement process.”

DiSanto added, “Blighted properties create unsafe public nuisance sites and depress community real estate values. Senate Bill 940 gives municipalities the tools they need to hold derelict owners accountable so we can revitalize blighted neighborhoods one block at a time.”

The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs have expressed their support for this legislation. Senate Bill 940 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Chuck Erdman cerdman@pasen.gov (717) 787-6801