Salisbury: $25,000 awarded to expand powerful blight-fighting tool

Will aid in regional code enforcement efforts

BRADDOCK, May 24 – A $25,000 grant to the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments will enhance an important blight-fighting tool for the region, state Rep. Abigail Salisbury announced today. 

Salisbury, D-Allegheny, said the grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development will allow the council to expand its use of the blight-fighting software CodeNForce.

“Blight isn’t just unsightly – it can pose health hazards to residents,” Salisbury said. “But we don’t have to stand by and let it happen. We can make inroads by attacking blight with a variety of tools and strategies, including my legislation that would allow local governments to refer severely blighted parcels for acquisition by land banks.

“The new funding will give us another powerful tool in our toolbox by expanding the council’s use of code enforcement software that allows officials to identify owners and managers of blighted parcels, track prior violations and share that data across boundaries.” 

“Good code enforcement is about one thing: making our community a safe, healthy place to live,” said Amanda Settelmaier, executive director of the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments. “This funding is going to directly benefit residents by empowering local officials to work together toward that goal.

“It couldn’t be more timely, with the growing trend of out-of-town LLCs buying properties in Allegheny County. CodeNForce makes it easier for towns to keep property owners accountable with consistent safety enforcement – even with limited budgets, and even across municipal lines.”

The funding is part of a package of grants awarded under the Keystone Communities Program. More information is available here:

Last June, the House passed Salisbury’s legislation that would allow municipal governments to make vacant properties that have been severely blighted for five or more years subject to potential acquisition by land banks.

The Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments includes 20 member municipalities, including District 34 municipalities Braddock, Chalfant, Churchill, East Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Forest Hills, North Braddock, Rankin, Swissvale, Wilkins and Wilkinsburg.