A great example of the market at work: making a business in restoring blighted properties/curing nuisances (Philadelphia)
Many times I have written about how the State of Ohio has a strong receivership statute which allows nonprofits to take over properties that are "notorious" nuisances, "cure" the nuisance, and get awarded ownership of the property, which they subsequently sell.
The Cleveland Restoration Society has acted under that statute to fix properties and preserve their historic character, and then to sell them to property owners committed to maintaining the property ("Housing receivership to cure nuisance properties").
Pennsylvania has a similar law, called Act 135 ("Pennsylvania passes receivership law"). In Philadelphia, two people have created a business of curing nuisances and fixing properties on behalf of nonprofits ("These guys are Philadelphia's professional Blightbusters," Philadelphia Inquirer).
From the article
Operating under the more-corporate-sounding Scioli Turco Inc., they have mastered the ins and outs of an obscure state law called Act 135 that enables nonprofits to take control of blighted properties, fix them up, and sell them ("Philly nonprofit finds way to reverse blighted properties," Philadelphia City Paper). The owner gets the proceeds, minus the cost of repairs and Scioli Turco’s expenses.Seems like a pretty creative and proactive method for revitalizing neighborhoods and addressing persistent problems.
It sounds almost too easy, yet Scioli Turco’s successes with Act 135 promise an alternative to the usual, slow-moving approach to attacking Philadelphia’s blight problem.
Scioli Turco is the brainchild of two Bella Vista activists, Joel Palmer, a retired pharmaceutical salesman, and Jeffrey Goldman, a database analyst. Frustrated by a long-vacant VFW post in their neighborhood, they asked the courts in 2011 to appoint them as the building’s conservators under the Act 135 rules.
Using their own money and loans, they put in $100,000 to stabilize the building. After selling it for almost three times that amount, Palmer said, they realized “the process was scalable” and decided to form a nonprofit to pursue other eyesores. ...
Since then, Scioli Turco has rescued 50 problem properties, not just in Bella Vista, but around the city.
-- Implementation and Best Practices Manual, Pennsylvania’s Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, Regional Housing Legal Services
-- Using Conservatorship to Reclaim Properties: Case Studies