HARRISBURG – Legislation offered by Schuylkill County Rep. Tim Twardzik to authorize registries of vacant and blighted properties has passed the PA Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee. Twardzik said blighted properties affect every community across the Commonwealth, devaluing neighbors’ properties, increasing crime, and posing health and safety risks. By permitting municipalities to create registries of vacant and blighted properties, we are giving our communities another tool to combat these issues. The Vacant Property Registration Act will allow municipalities to enforce registration fees on vacant properties, maintaining a list of such properties and submitting it annually to relevant authorities. It penalizes non-compliance and offers exemptions under certain conditions, aiming to shift the burden of addressing vacancy and blight from responsible property owners to those neglecting their properties. Additionally, the act mandates the creation of a fund for remediation efforts and education about the impacts of vacancy and blight on communities. House Bill 775 now goes to the full state Senate.