There are some neighborhoods in Pennsylvania cities where half of the properties are blighted or tax-delinquent or both. Between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, there are about 60,000 such properties. But getting them into the hands of new owners who can make them useful for the neighborhood again has been difficult. Enter a 2012 state law that allows cities to quickly acquire properties, eliminate back taxes and get them to new owners. But in reality, there has been little progress.
Listen to and read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' website. Keystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.