Pennsylvania Blight Criteria

Category: Blight Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March 2016 Published: Friday, 17 October 2014 Written by ATA Admin

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Pennsylvania Blight Criteria

The following blight criteria are specified in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Urban Redevelopment Law, §1712.1, Blighted Property Removal, and §205(b) of the Eminent Domain Code:


  1. A premises which because of physical condition or use is regarded as a public nuisance at common law or has been declared a public nuisance in accordance with the local housing, building, plumbing, fire and related codes.
  2. A premises which because of physical condition, use or occupancy is considered an attractive nuisance to children, including but not limited to abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, and unsafe fences or structures.
  3. A dwelling which because it is dilapidated, unsanitary, unsafe, vermin-infested or lacking in the facilities and equipment required by the housing code of the municipality, has been designated by the department responsible for enforcement of the code as unfit for human habitation.
  4. A structure which is a fire hazard, or is otherwise dangerous to the safety of persons or property.
  5. A structure from which the utilities, plumbing, heating, sewerage or other facilities have been disconnected, destroyed, removed, or rendered ineffective so that the property is unfit for its intended use.
  6. A vacant or unimproved lot or parcel of ground in a predominantly built-up neighborhood, which by reason of neglect or lack of maintenance has become a place for accumulation of trash and debris, or a haven for rodents or other vermin.
  7. An unoccupied property which has been tax delinquent for a period of two years prior to the effective date of this act, and those in the future having a two year tax delinquency.
  8. A property which is vacant but not tax delinquent, which has not been rehabilitated within one year of the receipt of notice to rehabilitate from the appropriate code enforcement agency.
  9. An abandoned property.
  10. A property which has defective or unusual conditions of title or no known owners rendering title unmarketable.
  11. A property which has environmentally hazardous conditions.
  12. A property having three of more of the following characteristics: (i) does not meet current use, occupancy or fire codes;  (ii)  has unsafe external and internal accessways;  (iii)  is being served by an unsafe public street or right-of-way;  (iv)  violates the applicable property maintenance code;  (v)  is vacant;  (vi)  is located in a redevelopment area with a density of at least 1,000 people per square mile or with more than 90% of the units of property being nonresidential.


Under 35 P.S. § 1712.1(c), a blighted property in Pennsylvania must meet 1 of the following 11 criteria:

  • Public nuisance
  • Attractive nuisance to children
  • Accumulation of trash and debris or haven for vermin
  • Unfit for human habitation
  • Fire hazard
  • Lack of water, gas, or other utilities
  • Tax delinquent for two years and vacant
  • Vacant and not code compliant within a year of receiving notice of violations
  • Abandoned property with municipal liens exceeding 150% of value
  • Defective or unusual condition of title
  • Environmentally hazardous conditions or contamination
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