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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It's an attempt to cut down on the number of vacant and unmaintained properties in Metro Louisville -- a registry requiring financial institutions to alert the city when they foreclose on a home, and let it know who will take care of vacant property.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Councilmember Rick Blackwell announced the Foreclosed and Vacant Properties Registry Tuesday morning. Blackwell is the lead sponsor of the ordinance to be introduced at Metro Council next week.
Mayor Fischer said Tuesday, "Metro Government often ends up having to care for these vacant properties — cutting the grass, boarding the windows and responding to reports of vandalism — because banks often don't keep the property in good condition," Fischer said. The city has spent $12 million over the past 10 years caring for vacant properties -- $1.8 million in the last year alone.
Failure to register a property can result in a $100 fine.
"There is no simple solution to this problem," Blackwell said. "However, this registry of vacant properties, along with previous efforts at the state and local level, give us more tools to deal with the problem in a more timely manner."
The city estimates that there are 6,000 to 7,000 vacant properties in the city, of which about 1,300 are abandoned.
The goal is to reduce the number of abandoned properties by 40 percent in the next three years, which would be just over 500 such sites. Doing that could require anything from forcing abandoned homes into foreclosure and finding new owners for them to demolishing them.