Synchronicity

From City Hall the Mayor and City Council can look out the windows at the tents in Burnside Park. Last week Mayor Taveras signed this executive order to popular acclaim…

Mayor Angel Taveras today signed an executive order that closes the corporate tax loophole that allows foreclosing banks to hold onto the owner occupied homestead exemption, and enables new homeowners of foreclosed properties to immediately receive their owner occupied homestead exemption.

Mayor Taveras signed the executive order surrounded by local elected officials and housing advocates in front of a foreclosed, bank-owned single family home on Ardoene Street in Providence’s Reservoir neighborhood.

“In my first 10 months as Mayor I’ve worked daily to address the impacts in Providence of our nation’s most serious economic downturn in decades. In particular, there is a great need to address the foreclosure crisis that is crushing hope and opportunity for too many in our community,” said Mayor Taveras. “Banks shouldn’t get owner-occupied tax breaks – we’re fixing that immediately. Together with our friends in the housing community, we are moving forward decisively to rebuild our city and make sure that all the citizens of Providence have access to safe and affordable housing.”

The City Council did not want to be left out of this parade…

And a few hours after the mayor acted, Councilman Bryan Principe filed an ordinance that would force lenders and trustees of foreclosed properties to continue houses’ upkeep while they are vacant. Among other responsibilities, they would need to landscape, remove graffiti, shovel snow and keep the land free of trash.

The council’s ordinance committee will review the regulation before a vote is taken, but every council member asked Thursday to co-sponsor the ordinance.

As a Providence homeowner– this rocks! I have watched neighborhoods empty out as houses are left to deterioration and vandalism, at the same time the number of displaced and homeless people increases every year. Why have the banks been allowed for so long to take a tax break intended for owner-occupied houses, and not been held responsible for maintaining the properties they seize?

The Mayor and the City Council have decided that this is an urgent matter.

Coincidence? I think not. I think that a group of determined people putting their time and comfort on the line, supported by many in the city of Providence is exerting a counter-pressure to the financial powers and their lobbyists.

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One response

  1. Foreclosed and /or abandoned properties not maintained by the new “owners”are a dead certain precursor to urban blight like you’d find in Flint,MI or Rockford,IL or any number of other terminally ill cities.
    This is a good move,but don’t credit the “Occupy”people-this was an issue way before they plopped on the scene.
    You wanna credit Taveras?OK.I think on balance he’s doing a credible job given what he was left to work with by the little criminal.

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