Former housing director weighs in on Nutter’s plan to reduce blight

    Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he’s going after so-called absentee investors: property owners who buy cheap in poverty stricken areas and convert homes into rental properties, as a way to curb urban blight.

    Those owners frequently violate city ordinances by leaving their properties in decay, but holding them accountable hasn’t always been the highest priority.

    It’s not the first time the city has tried to deal with blighted neighborhoods. Newsworks Tonight host Dave Heller discussed the issue with John Kromer. He was the city’s Director of Housing and Community Development in the 1990’s, and has written the book Fixing Broken Cities: the Implementation of Urban Development Strategies.

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