Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Allegheny Couny Chief Executive Dan Onorato announced an expansion to the property recovery program today. The expansion hopes to recover 15 properties within the year located within 6 targeted communities--Etna, Harrison Township, Heidelberg, Penn Hills, Swissvale, and Turtle Creek. Since 2004, the program has recovered about 500 properties. Individuals and community groups can apply to purchase vacant properties that have been tax-delinquent for at least three years. The applicant must provide a plan for use of the property and purchase the land at its appraised value. To supplement the program, Jones Day will provide pro bono legal services and the Allegheny County Department of Court Records will waive its filing fees--an estimated $6,000 to $7,000 per parcel. Onorato says that by lowering the cost and difficulties associated with purchasing blighted properties, he thinks more people will recover these lands. At least 2 parcels of land will be recovered in each of the targeted communities.