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Published on Friday, March 10, 2017

Bills related to abandoned and foreclosed homes still moving

As noted in an earlier Legislative Bulletin article, AWC has been actively engaged in conversations around city authority over abating nuisance properties that are in foreclosure and/or have been abandoned. Currently, cities run into numerous hurdles when it comes to addressing blighted homes that pose a threat to public safety and health because of their deteriorating condition due to abandonment.

In our last update we characterized HB 2057/SB 5797 sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines/Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) as works in progress. The bills continue to be fine-tuned, but have come a long way in the past weeks. As currently drafted the legislation would:

  • Put in place a multi-level process by which a servicer may enter abandoned residential real property to make repairs or remediate problems.
  • Authorize the Housing Finance Commission (HFC) to issue certificates of abandonment for a fee, and require the HFC to notify the appropriate city, town, or county.
  • Establish processes for servicers—acting on behalf of the beneficiary of a trust deed—to enter abandoned property to take reasonable steps to secure it.

There are still many issues to be ironed out, notably, establishing a process where cities are also able to issue certificates of abonnement and able to take steps to remediate problem homes when servicers fail to step in. AWC remains committed to continuing to work through the process. As changes are made we will continue to provide updates.

Categories: Housing