(Cincinnati) -- In 2012, City Council approved the creation of a Vacant Foreclosed Property Registration in the five neighborhoods that have had the highest number of foreclosures in recent years: College Hill, East Price Hill, West Price Hill, Madisonville and Westwood. Now, the other 47 neighborhoods could be included in the registry.
Under the program, if a bank starts foreclosure proceedings, it has to list the property on the City's registry. If they don't, they get fined. And if they don't keep up the property, they get fined. The registry requires banks to list a contact number, so neighbors can get in touch if the property isn't being kept up.
Ken Smith with Price Hill Will says all too often, a foreclosed home falls into disrepair, and drags down the property values around it. He says the registry actually helps banks, because they can more easily re-sell a house that is in good repair.
Councilman PG Sittenfeld says 88% of the properties on the registry have been kept up, or even improved, and he says that has kept neighborhoods in better shape.
He says the program has paid for itself, through the registration fee. And, he says the City has collected more than a million dollars through fines.
City Council passed the measure Wednesday afternoon, 8-0. Councilman Kevin Flynn abstained.