|Chula Vista’s Code Enforcement Manager Doug Leeper is headed for Washington D.C. to testify before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee about the City’s Residential Abandoned Property Program. Leeper wrote the City’s new ordinance that holds lenders responsible for the condition of abandoned, financially distressed homes.
The ordinance, which has become a model for cities across the nation, is changing how the lending industry does business. It’s also protecting Chula Vista neighborhoods from blight.
Leeper will testify before the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy during a hearing on Neighborhoods: The Blameless Victims of the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. The hearing is scheduled for May 21 at 2 p.m. in the Rayburn Building.
According to Chula Vista’s ordinance, vacant foreclosed properties must be registered with the city. The names of the lender and the person responsible for maintaining the property must also be provided. If properties are not registered or maintained, violators are fined $100 to $1,000 a day. If they don’t pay, the City places a lien on the property.
The ordinance, enacted by the City Council, is precedent setting. Leeper has been contacted by more than 150 cities for help in crafting new legislation to deal with the fallout of homes abandoned during the nation’s foreclosure crisis.