A new program to lessen the blight from too many vacant and neglected foreclosure homes is being tested in west Phoenix.
A few weeks ago, Phoenix's Neighborhood Services Department began closely monitoring foreclosure homes in the area between 75th and 91st avenues and Thomas and Camelback roads. A city inspector checks houses about to be foreclosed on or already in foreclosure for common signs of neglect: tall weeds and grass, dead plants, abandoned vehicles, junk and litter, open windows or doors, broken fences and graffiti.
Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox said the pilot program will work with homeowners in foreclosure and lenders with homes taken back through foreclosure. Both groups will be notified about violations on their properties, and a system to track their responses and actions has been set up.
The program will last six months. If it cuts down on the area's crime and blight due to foreclosures, Mattox said it could be expanded in other parts of Phoenix.
• New housing laws: Here's a recap from the Arizona Association of Realtors of six new state laws that could have the biggest impact on the real-estate industry. HB 2345: Homeowners associations are prohibited from banning the display of temporary open-house signs, except in common areas. HOAs are also prohibited from regulating a seller's "for sale" sign if it meets industry standards.
HB 2371: Swimming pools and spas are now part of home inspections.
HB 2450: Municipalities can't refuse service or require payment for unpaid water and wastewater services from anyone except the person contracted for them.
HB 2766: Landlords facing foreclosure must provide residents with written notice about a trustee sale of the home they are renting. If a landlord fails to do so, a tenant can recover damages.
HB 2768: This prohibits home sellers from paying private transfer fees to developers or third-party firms.
SB 1219: The law sets a two-year period for real-estate licenses and allows real-estate agents to cancel their licenses.
by Catherine Reagor The Arizona Republic August 31, 2010
Phoenix aiming to ease foreclosure-home blight
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