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City Officials Pass Bill To Embarrass Slum Landlords

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Officials plan on embarrassing landlords who won't clean up their properties in an attempt to clean up the city.

The message is simple - don't clean up your property and you will get a sign with an embarrassing message near your property.

However, not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

"What we passed today was legislation that will put the name of the owner, their home address and telephone numbers on signs on properties that they've let fall apart," Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto said.

The bill, which is designed to embarrass slum landlords to take action, will identify the 10 worst properties in the city. However, not everyone on City Council thinks it will work.

"It's a misguided approach. We tried it 15 years ago and in fact, there is a sign still up," Councilman Ricky Burgess said.

Burgess would rather see the money spent on development in neighborhoods that have been hit hard by slum landlords.

Peduto said the embarrassment tactic has worked in other cities and can work here too.

"Everyone knows the property in Pittsburgh down the street that no one's taken care of for as long as they've lived there. The property where the third floor has a broken window and the tenants have to shove towels in there in the middle of the winter because the landlord won't come back to ever fix it. The one with the porch that's detached and falling off and nobody - even after the courts have said they have to repair it - nothing has been done," Peduto said.

Every City Council representative will have the option of saying they want the signs or not.


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