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Strategic Property Code Enforcement and its Impacts on Surrounding Markets

Topic Housing

In Philadelphia, the Department of Licenses and Inspections has engaged in a novel and geographically targeted enforcement effort utilizing a 2010 Pennsylvania law (PA Act 90) combined with the city’s property and maintenance code. The Reinvestment Fund was asked by the Data Collaborative, a group of nonprofit housing and community development proponents funded by the William Penn Foundation, to assess the effectiveness of the city’s strategy. The report compares areas of enforcement to areas with similar real estate market characteristics (based on several indicators of market strength), but without targeted enforcement. The report found that this strategy led to a 32% increase in residential real estate sale price near enforcement activities, compared to 2% in similar areas, and a reduction in tax delinquency in targeted areas versus an increase in similar areas.

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