Kinkead bill to reform Allegheny County land banks passes PA House

Legislation would help restore blighted, abandoned properties

HARRISBURG, June 12 – Legislation that would allow land banks in Allegheny County to acquire properties more efficiently passed the PA House today on a bipartisan vote of 110-93, announced the bill’s author, state Rep. Emily Kinkead.

“There are many abandoned properties throughout Allegheny County,” said Kinkead. “The Pittsburgh Land Bank was created nearly 10 years ago to help transform these properties but has struggled to make progress mostly due to additional legal steps related to tax liens on vacant properties. This is a simple bill that would eliminate a major bottleneck in acquiring neglected properties and ultimately support blight restoration in our region.”

The bill would allow the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding municipalities in Allegheny County to facilitate sheriff’s sales, something Philadelphia has had the power to do since 1955.

Kinkead said a nearly identical bill by her colleague state Sen. Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, passed the Senate unanimously in 2021, but Republican leadership in the House at the time failed to move the legislation.

Fontana is running his bill again this session, now known as S.B. 202. It passed the Senate and is slated to be considered by the House Housing and Community Development Committee Tuesday.

House Bill 711, Kinkead’s bill, now heads to the Senate for future consideration.