Salisbury’s first bill introduced in the House

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Abigail Salisbury, D-Allegheny, formally introduced her first bill today as a Pennsylvania state representative, legislation that would help communities address the problem of blighted and abandoned properties.

The legislation (H.B. 1163) would update current property law to allow communities to make blighted or abandoned properties subject to potential acquisition by land banks. Owners of such properties would be granted a set amount of time to make the repairs needed to reverse the designation and could appeal the designation.

"In my five years as a borough council member, I saw firsthand how these neglected properties can become safety hazards and sources of frustration for communities. As a council member, however, my ability to help neighbors deal with problem properties was often limited by what the law allowed,” Salisbury said. “My goal with this legislation is to add another tool to local governments' toolboxes and help put properties back to productive use. My bill delivers a ‘use it or lose it’ message to urge property owners into action and improve communities' ability to address blight.”

Salisbury said her legislation does not require land banks to acquire properties designated as abandoned and/or distressed.