On Saturday, June 23 the SEIU 721 Blight Brigade, which includes members from our partners at Good Jobs LA, culminated a week of work with visits to almost 700 homes and other properties in Inglewood which banks have foreclosed on or are threatening with foreclosure.
Volunteers found that one in seven of these properties was scarred by neglect. They found feral animals fouling yards, a long-neglected swimming pool filled with filth and many other signs of the banks’ failure to care for properties they seized from our neighbors.
“Foreclosures have a direct effect on
our communities. The financial institutions who own foreclosed properties should
be held accountable for keeping them up. Whether they are commercial or residential
properties, a fee should be assessed. This will allow revenues to be
collected for the city and used for the community at large”
– Carmen Hayes
, Inglewood Code Enforcement Officer
Inglewood City Council members Ralph Franklin and Judy Dunlap welcomed
this volunteer effort to document blight, and said they would work with
SEIU 721 to seek tough enforcement. An ordinance on the books in Inglewood requires fines of up to $1,000 per day on banks that fail to clean up blighted properties.
To date, no fines have been imposed. A Good Jobs LA analysis, presented
to the City Council on June 19th, estimated that strict enforcement
could produce $2.4 million in revenue for the city.
Councilmembers Franklin and Dunlap plan to schedule a workshop on how to strengthen the Blight Ordinance with stricter code enforcement so it will generate even more revenue. To find out more, contact Antoinette Withers at 213-251-3721