Mayor Bob Filner signed his first ordinance as mayor Tuesday in what he said was a promise kept to San Diego’s neglected neighborhoods during his campaign.
The Property Value Protection Ordinance will establish a registry of contact information for residential properties that have fallen into the foreclosure process. This way, if a home has fallen into disrepair, the city will know who is responsible for the upkeep.
Advocates of the ordinance, such as councilman David Alvarez say it’s a way to hold banks and lenders responsible for homes blighted or abandoned by the process of foreclosure.
“Foreclosure is bad enough,” Filner said under a tent set up near one foreclosed home in Mountain View. “It hurts families and hurts neighborhoods. But let’s not add insult to injury with these houses that become blighted.”
The ordinance has been on the table since September of last year, when two advocacy groups suggested the city find a better way to reach lenders and institutions after residents make complaints about their properties.
One of the original leading advocates of the ordinance is Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Clara Lorrabaquio is an ACCE member who brought a home in her neighborhood to the city's attention.
“Six months ago we didn’t think we could do anything about this house across the street,” she said, pointing to the house from the press conference Tuesday. “There was garbage and crime and it was bad for our neighborhood.”
Now, when a lender or bank issues a Notice of Default to a homeowner, they will also have to add their name and contact information to a city registry. If they don’t do this within 10 days, they will have to pay $100 per day late – not to exceed $5,000 per calendar year, according to the ordinance.