City’s Blight Task Force to Present Findings, Plan

The five-plus months’ work of the city Blight Task Force will culminate Wednesday with the group presenting its “comprehensive blight strategy plan.”

The session will be the fourth and final gathering of the task force, which consists of 18 members, including officials from city government, housing and human service agencies, economic development organizations and business leaders, landlords and real estate representatives.

The task force was created by Mayor Matt Pacifico, led by blight consultant Winnie Branton of Branton Strategies in Philadelphia and funded by a $32,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

“Achieving voluntary compliance by owners of blighted properties, with enforcement actions for the non-compliant (is) the top goal,” stated a news release from the city on Monday.

At its most recent meeting in January, the task force listed establishment of a land bank, expansion of existing home repair assistance programs and focus on legal penalties for scofflaws as its highest priorities.

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