Many of us have either lost or come close to losing a home in this economy, or we at least know someone who has lost a home to foreclosure. Maybe when you look next door you see an empty house where your friendly neighbors used to live but who had to leave it behind.
The Florida foreclosure crisis has affected everybody, a point brought up in a recent Florida report out of New Port Richey. City lawmakers have enacted new ordinances with regard to foreclosures. The changes are meant to protect home values and the health of neighborhood residents.
ABC Action News interviewed a Florida man whose neighbors had to leave their home due to foreclosure. Every day, he sees the empty home next door to him and worries about his property value and people’s safety. Whether the borrowers or the bank is now in charge of the home’s care, whoever is in charge of it has left it in dangerous condition.
According to reports, people have broken in and used illegal substances in the foreclosed home. Also, the property has been neglected, with a pool in the yard that is not only unfit for use but likely a health hazard. Without finding more effective ways to keep people in their homes, we are creating hazardous and undesirable communities.
Like Tampa, Florida, now New Port Richey has developed new laws to try to promote healthy communities and, therefore, a healthier real estate market. Foreclosures will have to be registered into a system and the homes’ responsible parties are legally required to maintain the properties.
With lack of money being the reason behind foreclosures, some see these new ordinances as somewhat useless. The motivation is right, but how can the city hold anyone accountable or fine them if there is no money to collect as a punishment? It sounds like putting more focus on foreclosure prevention would better and more effectively serve the community.
ABC Action News: “New ordinance aims to clean up foreclosure mess,” Erik Waxler, 6 May 2011