Legislation to Address Blighted Properties in Pennsylvania

July 2021 

Even though addressing blight is a local concern, the solutions are largely enabled by state law. Several blight bills moved at the end of June and the Governor signed HB 264 into law. Thank you to Representative Doyle Heffley for sponsoring HB 264 (Act 33 of 2021) and to Senator David Argall’s Statewide Blight Task Force for supporting this bill that requires bidder registration before tax and judicial property sales. The law will help prevent speculators and slumlords from hiding behind the shield of LLCs when buying tax delinquent properties. 

Below is a table that that summarizes the most recent actions on several bills to address blighted properties in the Commonwealth.   

Bill NoBrief Description Lead Sponsor Last Legislative Actions
SB 439  Makes permanent the Recorder of Deeds fee county demolition funds Sen. Argall Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee 
SB 477 Amends the Consolidated County Assessment Law on the definition of which repairs must be reported to the assessment office and requires the forwarding of demolition permit information to the assessment office Sen. Ward Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee 
SB 574  Establishes an optional county demolition and rehabilitation fund from tax sale and foreclosure sale fees Sen. Brewster  Voted out of Senate In House Local Gov’t Committee 
HB 160 Can deny municipal permits to LLCs that delinquent on taxes or have serious code violations Rep. Mullery In House Urban Affairs Committee 
HB 581 Provides different options for communities to use tax abatements or exemptions to develop affordable housing in deteriorated areas Rep. Solomon Voted out of House 
HB 610 Grants land banks liability protections when redeveloping brownfields Rep. A. Davis 1st consideration in House,  Laid on the table 
HB 960 Exempts land banks from the local realty transfer tax (they are already exempt from the state portion of RTT) Rep. Freeman In House Urban Affairs Committee 
HB 961 Expands the eligibility criteria for the Neighborhood Assistance Program to includes locations within land bank jurisdiction Rep. Freeman In House Urban Affairs Committee