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Allentown seeks Hall of Shame nominees

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 29 2013 02:27:39 PM CDT
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ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Residents now can nominate candidates for Allentown's Landlord Hall of Shame on the city's website.

“Residents who are tired of living next door or across the street from a rental property eyesore are invited to nominate that landlord,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

“If that property meets the criteria that has been established, we will certainly give it serious consideration.”

Residents can click on a link to the newly designed Landlord Hall of Shame section of the city's website and then link to the Citizen Contact Form on the left side of the page to fill in the information about their nominee.

The Landlord Hall of Shame was established in 2008 by Pawlowski to bring public pressure to bear on property owners who refuse to improve sub-standard conditions on their rental properties and bring down property values across their neighborhoods.

The city has not named any landlords to its Hall of Shame for the last few years. City Council frequently hears complaints about too many blighted properties in Allentown.

The latest Hall of Shame inductee, Mohinder Kaur, was named just last week.

City officials say Kaur's property in the 600 block of Cedar Street is not fit for human habitation. It's been the subject of several code violations and the city maintains Kaur owes nearly $6,000 in penalties, fees and back taxes.

Also in the hall are Yturbides Mieses, inducted in 2010; Charles J. Miller, inducted in  2009, and Adam and Ira Thor, inducted in 2008.

A landlord may be nominated for the Landlord Hall of Shame based upon the following criteria:

*  Delinquent Fees (water/sewer, rental, taxes, business license, privilege tax

* Declared a nuisance per the Property Rehabilitation and a Maintenance Code; anti-litter, zoning and city abated nuisance; liens have been placed on property

*  Registration/License revocation or warnings

*  Rental units tagged as unfit (either condition or illegal)

* Relocation paid by city to displaced tenants

* Tenant "testimonials"

* Neighbor "testimonials"

*  DCR's issued (and history)

* Health issues (solid waste, animals, etc.)

* Building issues (no permits, no plans)

*  Police issues

*  Fire issues

The mayor’s Landlord Hall of Shame Committee includes the director of building standards and safety, housing rehab supervisor, housing supervisor, a representative from zoning, a representative from recycling and a representative from the health bureau.

The committee meets on a regular basis to review potential nominees and nominate a city landlord for recommendation to the mayor for selection.

Suggested nominees may also be phoned-in to the bureau of building standards and safety at 610-437-7690.