Allegheny County – June 14 2022 – Today, the Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 811 (SB 811). The bill is sponsored by Senator Wayne Fontana and will provide Allegheny County land banks with an expedited sheriff sale process as well as lower the redemption period of a property.

“Outdated laws and processes can inhibit communities from adequately addressing blight, which can come with great costs for cities, neighborhoods, and local economies. SB 811 will accelerate and enhance the ability of our local land banks to return vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent property to productive use.” said Sen. Fontana. “In the City of Pittsburgh alone, there’s about 24,000 total parcels of taxable property considered vacant, which contributes to millions of dollars in lost property value. SB 811 will make it easier and faster for unused and blighted properties to be bought and refurbished into single family homes, commercial spaces, and community spaces that add to neighborhoods and attract residents and businesses.”

SB 811 extends the powers of the Municipal Claims and Tax Lien Law (MCTLL) to the City of Pittsburgh and the surrounding municipalities and their land banks. Currently, these powers are only available to Philadelphia. The bill will ultimately expedite properties to sheriff’s sales and reduce the period for redemption of property from nine months to three months after acknowledgement of a Sheriff’s deed.

The bill is supported by several statewide organizations, including the Pittsburgh Land Bank, Allegheny County Economic Development, and the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

SB 811 will now go to the House for its consideration.