The Committee Hearing is TODAY – Wednesday, September 14th at 2pm (please arrive at 1:30pm) at San Diego City Hall. You can RSVP through Facebook.
The address is: San Diego City Hall, 202 C Street, 12th floor, San Diego, CA
Housing Committee Ordinance would fine banks $1000 a day for failure to maintain foreclosed properties
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI) have released a brief outlining the costs of foreclosed properties on neighborhoods and cities. Some of the points they raise:
- Foreclosures harm the value of all homes within a neighborhood.
Homes left vacant and untended during and after a foreclosure can become nuisance properties, deterring potential homebuyers and lowering home values in the neighborhood. Homes in foreclosure experience an average 22% loss in value, and homes within 1/8 of a mile of a foreclosure also decline in value.
- Foreclosures undermine the financial stability of homeowners and their neighbors.
Lower home values mean families have less home equity to use to fund retirement, pay tuition, start businesses, or pay medical bills. Home equity is generally at least two-thirds of the average pre-retiree’s total assets.
- Foreclosures erode local tax bases and revenues, impacting services for everyone.
Lower home values result in less property tax revenue raised. The reduction in property values has decimated the tax bases that support state and local budgets. A National League of Cities survey found that foreclosures and the declining housing market are among the leading causes of fiscal budget crises. As a result, cities are hard-pressed to pay for services like libraries, parks, police and fire.
- Foreclosures require police and other services, further draining local government coffers.
Local government agencies have to spend money and staff time on blighted foreclosed properties, providing maintenance, inspections, increased public safety calls, and other code enforcement services. In addition, violent crime increases 2.33% for every 1% increase in foreclosures. Altogether, a single foreclosure can cost local governments between $5,000 and $34,000.
In the fall of 2007, Chula Vista passed a tough anti-blight ordinance requiring prompt registration of vacant homes, and that can apply stiff fines (as high as $1000 per day) for failure to maintain a property. In the first 18 months, Chula Vista levied fines totaling more than $1.3 million and had collected about $752,000. Registration fees for vacant homes under the program had reached about $183,000.
Activists are looking to create a similar ordinance in San Diego. Tomorrow, September 14, the Land Use and Housing Committee will consider the “Property Value Protection Ordinance” as a way to offset costs to the city created by home foreclosures. A wide coalition of community, faith and labor organizations have built support for this ordinance. They have held two town hall meetings, each with over 90 residents attending, to discuss this issue.
Council Member David Alvarez, who has shown leadership on this critical issue, will be introducing the ordinance. This ordinance is a key building block in a larger campaign to hold Wall Street Banks accountable.
Show your support by attending the Committee Hearing on Wednesday, September 14th at 2pm (please arrive at 1:30pm) at San Diego City Hall. You can RSVP through Facebook.
The address is:
San Diego City Hall
202 C Street, 12th floor
San Diego, CA
If you are not able to attend please sign the petition to the members of the San Diego City Council in support of the Property Value Protection Ordinance.