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03May

State looks to step up fight on blight

By: John Finnerty, The Daily Item

Published: April 27, 2017

HARRISBURG — Lawmakers are looking to take another bite out of the blight that has been a scourge of communities, large and small, across the state.

A House committee this week approved legislation intended to shorten the process for foreclosing upon vacant properties to make it easier to tackle potentially blighted homes before they become complete ruins.

“These properties, often, become dangerous eyesores that reduce the property values of taxpaying homeowners in the neighborhood,” said state Rep. Kurt Masser, R-107, of Elysburg. “What’s more, studies show that these properties also become prime locations for increased criminal activity, thereby reducing public safety.”

Masser said foreclosure often takes more than a year and can take as much as 18 months. His legislation could shorten it to eight months.

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