TOLEDO -- As the foreclosure crisis intensifies, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner wants the city to keep a closer watch over vacant homes in Toledo, reports News 11's Rob Wiercinski.
The mayor's plan involves new fees and a vacant home registry. If approved by council, owners of homes that are vacant for more than 90 days would have to register their properties with the city. The fee scale would be $100 to $3,000, depending on how long the building has been vacant.
Waivers would be available to those who are actively trying to sell or rent their properties. The goal is to give the city the ability to better monitor vacant homes before the homes get past the point of no return and need to be torn down.
"What we found in Toledo, there's a lot of absentee owners that whether they be out-of-town banks, or whomever, own a piece of property, there's no one living in it, they're not doing anything with it, they're not maintaining it," says Toledo City Councilman Joe McNamara.
While the hope is to have fewer vacants homes in Toledo, the nine-page piece of legislation the mayor is proposing is alienating some who believe it will provide another roadblock for private investment.
"The bad ones don't follow it anyhow, so you're putting another hoop, another business impediment for that good business person to be able to do business in Toledo," says real estate professional Anna Mills.
Mills believes the mayor would be "better off if he would concentrate on today's economy, give it a boost. Then we wouldn't have all these vacant houses," Mills says.
The head of Toledo's Housing Task Force believes it's all about protecting those who take care of their homes.
"It will improve neighborhoods, and we are able to keep track of all these vacant buildings more or less by this ordinance," says Bailey Stanbury.