Los Angeles has a blight ordinance that allows the city to collect $1,000 a day from banks that do not maintain their foreclosed homes. But LA is failing to enforce the law – a lost opportunity to hold irresponsible banks accountable and collect money to rebuild our neighborhoods and pay for schools, roads and essential public services.
Fighting Blight In Other Cities
Blight ordinances in a number of small California cities have produced far more revenue than LA’s ordinance.
- Riverside (population 298 thousand) issued $7 million in fines.
- Chula Vista (population 224 thousand) issued $1.4 million in fines.
- Oakland, Ca (population 409 thousand) collected $1.6 million in fines.
- Richmond (population 103 thousand) issued $1.8 million in fines.
To date, LA has collected $0 from banks violating the ordinance. If LA was as effective as Riverside in policing and fining violators, we would expect LA to have issued $49 million in fines in the blight ordinance’s first year alone.
Improving Enforcement of LA’s Blight Ordinance
- Remove loopholes that allow banks to avoid registering about 70% of properties with the city.
- Increase foreclosure registration fees to cover the cost of enforcement.
- Focus on the largest owners of foreclosed properties.
- Focus on properties that do not submit required monthly inspection reports.
- Dedicate code inspection staff to blight enforcement.
- Require the LA Department of Building and Safety to submit and present a monthly status report to City Council on current outcomes of the Foreclosure Registry Program.
To learn more about how we can fix LA’s foreclosure registry program to make banks pay for the harm they cause our community click here.