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Columbus tackles vacant houses

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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The Dispatch wrote Columbus tackles vacant houses

Proposal would allow for speedier foreclosure process

Sunday, December 23, 2007

BY MARK FERENCHIK

Getting control of a vacant, ramshackle house can take cities years, delaying efforts to help the poorest neighborhoods. That’s why Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. is shopping an idea to legislators that would give Ohio’s large cities the power to foreclose on such properties even if the cities held no liens against them.

Some see that as government overstepping its authority, but Pfeiffer strongly disagrees. “We’re not being communists, taking people’s property,” he said. “You’ve walked away.”

“What is the goal? To get dilapidated, neglected property in the hands of productive owners,” said Pfeiffer, the former Franklin County environmental judge.

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