Councilman David Alvarez celebrated a legislative victory last November after months of pushing for a registry to force banks to take responsibility for foreclosed homes before they become run down and affect neighbors’ property values.
Alvarez and his supporters have repeatedly touted the measure, known as the Property Value Protection Ordinance, as he campaigns for mayor but nearly a year after it was approved, it’s still hard to tell whether it’s achieving some of its core goals.
The nearly year-old city law created a registry of foreclosed homes and contact information for banks to ensure the city can hold those who don’t maintain their properties responsible. Participants pay $76 annually to register and up to $5,000 in fees if they fail to do so.
The city has logged roughly 1,700 residential properties in its foreclosure database and collected more than $190,000 in associated fees. But a city code enforcement manager charged with overseeing the program couldn’t detail how it’s help the city crack down on problem properties, or even say whether it’s helped code officers reach the banks responsible for those homes more quickly than they would have without the measure.