Proposed law could help cities fight blight - WNEM TV 5

Proposed law could help cities fight blight

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Crews fight blight in Saginaw. Crews fight blight in Saginaw.

Blighted homes around Mid-Michigan are known to cause all sorts of problems.

They're a target for criminals and they keep potential business away. Their existence is a major stumbling block when it comes to re-building Mid-Michigan's biggest cities.

Arsonists go after the abandoned homes, wasting resources and much needed money. So once again, the state is trying to fight blight with a new proposal that targets arsonists.

Right now it's just a proposal but the legislation is getting a lot of attention from police, fire departments and at Saginaw City Hall.

The proposed law would give cities a tool to fight blight, and they say they need every implement they can get their hands on.

If passed, the bill would hold landowners accountable for razing or repairing their property before they are allowed to sell, similar to an outstanding water or electric bill.  If they don't comply, they could be fined or face jail time.

Pastor Larry Camel of Parishioners On Patrol says blighted homes are used as safe havens for crime and he hopes the bill  passes to help clean up the city's neighborhoods.

The bill has been voted out of committee and is currently waiting to be voted on. The bill's primary sponsors said they do not know when it will be taken up by the Michigan Senate.

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