By Claudia Vargas
Mayor Nutter signed the Philadelphia Land Bank into law Monday and predicted that it could start selling the city's vast inventory of vacant and tax-delinquent properties by year's end.
"Making it easier to find productive new uses for these properties is a critical step in revitalizing communities, attracting new residents and businesses, building household wealth, and certainly strengthening the city's finances," Nutter said.
Though the mood was celebratory, even between City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and the bill's chief sponsor, Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sánchez, who often clashed over the bill's language, all parties said much work lay ahead.
The legislation creates a new governing body to manage the city's stock of vacant land, acquire tax-delinquent properties, and sell them to responsible buyers. But the creation is only the start.
Before the bank can begin selling about 9,500 city-owned and 17,000 tax-delinquent properties scattered citywide, a few things need to happen: