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Philadelphia Councilman Introduces Neighborhood Map Targeting Nuisance Properties

By Oren Liebermann

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The trash on Marsden Street has piled up so high in front of some homes, Helen Skasko says she rarely leaves her house.

“The smell is enough to kill you,” said Skasko, a resident of the street for nearly 50 years.

Garbage litters the porch of her neighbor’s house, while other homes have trash bags piled up out front. One home across the street even has an overturned couch sitting on the front lawn.

“I paid $6,000 dollars to have my front fixed up and I can’t even sit outside,” Skasko said.

“There’s blocks like this that need TLC,” said 6th District Councilman Bobby Henon, referring to tender loving care.

Councilman Henon is now asking people in his district to report nuisance properties and absentee landlords. His website has a map of properties of homes that have multiple license and inspection violations. He says there are more than 3,500 in his district alone. And he encourages people to call out neighbors who neglect their property. He calls it the “Bad Neighbor” map.

“I will go after the worst of the worst,” said Henon.

In some neighborhoods, sale signs have popped up near nuisance properties. Homeowners get tired of living near dirty homes, and they want to move out.

“There’s no landlord around to police what’s going on in these homes,” said Mayfair Town Watch President Milt Martelack. “When that happens, it’s a major issue.”

Martelack says the best way to fix the problem is to get involved and report problem properties. Now it will be neighbor versus neighbor to get the streets cleaned up.

You can see the “Bad Neighbor” map at

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  • me

    Great idea. Except when I clicked on the link and looked at the map, it seems like it`s focused more on how much money the people have. Instead of using tax and rental info, they need to focus it more on things like noise complaints and other things that actually make living near them hard. This is set up to single out the poor simply because they`re poor.

  • Mr Clean

    this has nothing to do with pettiness, bigotry, nor racism. Each time I drive to Philly, it is the most disgusting city I’ve been in my life with so much trash and broken furniture piled up high in front of homes and trash flying on streets near highways. It does not matter what you look like, clean up your own mess instead of turning your own neighborhood in a toilet bowl. Unless you want to live in one.

  • js

    good intention, bad idea. too much pettiness, bigotry, and racism for this to work in a fair manner for all.

    • mo

      Not sure how deadbeats (those who fail to pay taxes and fines) can claim pettiness, bigotry and/or racism. I think they are liberally distributed across the spectrum.

    • me

      I don`t see why we need to class people as “bad neighbors” based on their financial situation. That`s none of my business. Why isn`t the map based on the number of complaints from neighbors or something similar?

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