Act 47

A blighted home sits on 12th Avenue in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Min Xian / WPSU

Altoona’s Blight Task Force released a plan Wednesday to address the city’s rundown property problem. The plan looked at the extent of blight in Altoona and recommended next steps.

Over the past five months, the task force surveyed the city's housing conditions. They found more than half of about 9,000 parcels of land surveyed are in need of minor repairs, such as a new coat of paint. Meanwhile, nearly 400 parcels require major repairs and even demolition.

After more than a decade spent in a state financial oversight program, Pittsburgh regained its fiscal independence last month. More than a dozen Pennsylvania cities remain in the program.
Margaret J. Krauss / WESA

On a Monday morning in February, people packed the Pittsburgh mayor’s conference room to witness the city’s successful transition to financial independence — an event lauded as a turning point for the city’s future.

Min Xian / WPSU

The city of Altoona officially came out of Act 47 on Wednesday, bringing an end to its distressed city status. Altoona's successful exit is a big win for its local government and their collaboration with the state.

Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin officially announced the rescission in Altoona's downtown Devorris Center. 

“On behalf of Governor Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I’m officially signing the order which allows the city of Altoona to exit Act 47 today,” Davin said.  

One in a series explaining key terms and concepts of Pennsylvania government.

Pennsylvania's Act 47 – the Municipal Financial Recovery Act guides how the state intervenes when a local government can't pay its bills or debts.

The goal is "recovery" – pursued through a plan developed jointly by state and local players.