Ten years after the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, the process has been implemented statewide and continues to garnish interest from private residents, local businesses, and community organizations. With the acknowledgment that blight and abandonment negatively impact Pennsylvania’s property owners, business districts, and the public health and safety, the Conservatorship Act was passed as a method allowing the parties most adversely impacted by problem properties another opportunity to do something about them. Thus, conservatorship was added to Pennsylvania’s growing toolkit for addressing properties that owners have been unwilling or unable to maintain.
As conservatorship use increases, there has been an evolution in the way that city and county officials handle cases and an acknowledgement of the positive impact which conservators have on their communities. Conservators are now collaborating with the city and county, building trust and understanding for all involved. Properties which once could not have been accessed through any existing method are made available for productive re-use by responsible owners.
PCRG AmeriCorps VISTA Sabreena Woods led the project, interviewed key stakeholders, and wrote the manual. Her work will allow our members to learn from the best practices of other conservators, giving them the confidence to tackle the complex process to revitalize their neighborhoods.
Along with the release of The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act: 10 Years of Productive Reuse, stay tuned for an interactive map of completed and active conservatorship cases in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. For more information, contact the PCRG office at 412-391-6732.
This manual was written with respect to property conservatorship in the state of Pennsylvania and according to the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, also referred to as Act 135 of 2008. This manual is not designed to be used in place of legal advice but was developed as a reference tool.