What is BLight?


According to the Dictionary

  1. A deteriorated condition
  2. Something that impairs or destroys
  3. Something that frustrates plans or hopes

According to Real Life

While there are many definitions of "Blight," we are concerned with only one - The creeping decay of property that over time destroys communities by degrading the area, fostering prohibited activities and creating dangers to those who live and work nearby.

In our experience, nearly every community has some level of blight, whether it is from neglect, economic abandonment, or other factors. Whatever the cause, blight causes a general decline in a community's standard of living and the quality of life of its residents and stakeholders. 

We present below a primer on how to recognize blight in your community. Feel free to contact us to discuss any properties in your community. 

What to Do About Blight?

We've Seen - and Solved - All Kinds of Blight

There is no single solution t the many causes of blight currently plaguing communities. In our experience, we have identified a number of strategies that can be successful in reversing blight. We conduct extensive research, and carefully assess the best way to approach each situation. 

The Solution Starts With Knowledge

Since the situations leading to blight are so varied and numerous, the first step is identifying the blight and understanding the circumstances leading to its condition. This is where you can help by submitting addresses of properties that blight the community.

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Act 135

Pennsylvania's Conservatorship Law - Act 135

Pennsylvania and other states have enacted laws to allow certain parties the ability to remove blight, called conservatorship laws. Commonly known as Act 135, Pennsylvania's law is a powerful tool to eliminate blight, and is one of the many methods that the Community Preservation Alliance employs. Unlike other tactics, Act 135 has a carefully described definition of blight. See below for Act 135's definition of blight.

Conditions of Blight - All of These

For Act 135 legal proceedings, very specific indicators of blight must be met. First, a property must meet all of the following four criteria in order to classify as blighted. The property:

  1. Has been vacant for at least the prior twelve months
  2. Has not been listed for sale during the last sixty days
  3. Has not been sold during the last six months
  4. Is not in foreclosure

In Addition, Three of the Following

The Property is:

  1. A public nuisance.
  2. In need of substantial rehabilitation, no rehabilitation during the previous 12 months.
  3. Unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use.
  4. Vacant in such a manner as to have an increased risk of fire to the building.
  5. Subject to unauthorized entry leading to potential health and safety hazards and the owner has failed to secure it.
  6. An attractive nuisance to children, such as an unsafe structure, basement, or excavation.
  7. Subject to vermin, the accumulation of debris, uncut vegetation or physical deterioration of the structure or grounds creating potential health and safety hazards, and the owner has failed to take measures to remove the hazards.
  8. Dilapidated in appearance, negatively affecting the economic well-being of residents and businesses in close proximity, including decreases in property value and loss of business, which the owner has failed to remedy.
  9. An attractive nuisance for illicit purposes, including prostitution, drug use and vagrancy.

What Can You Do?

If you see blight in your neighborhood, let us know. We appreciate your efforts to create BlightFree communities!

Submit Address

Act 135 Frequently Asked Questions

What is Act 135?

The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, often referred to as Act 135, is a Pennsylvania law that provides a mechanism for interested parties to address the problems associated with properties that are neglected and detrimentally affecting their communities.

Who Can Bring An Action?

The Act allows for interested parties, called Petitioners, to petition the Court for the appointment of a Conservator.  Anyone living or operating a business near a blighted property can be a Petitioner.

What is a Conservator ?

A Conservator is a third party appointed by the Court to take control of a blighted property to make repairs necessary to return the property to productive use. When appointed by the Court, a Conservator is granted both the power and the responsibility for removing blight. 

Does a Petitioner Have Any Obligations?

Other than assisting the Conservator with beginning an action, there are none. The Petitioner benefits by having the neighborhood eyesore rehabilitated into productive, occupied property.

What is the CPA?

The Community Preservation Alliance is a nonprofit organization making communities stronger by removing blight. With the help of community partners and residents, we identify properties that are blighted, and employ Act 135 and other methods to return the properties to productive use.

Submit Address

How Can I Get Involved?

If there is a blighted property on your block, let us know! You can submit the address, confidentially, by clicking the "Submit Address" button below. All contact is kept confidential. If you'd like to discuss it with us personally, give us a call at (267) 908-4015.