A few cities have implemented meaningful changes in attempting to help residents hit with foreclosure, Stewart said, including Worcester and Springfield.
Worcester officials created a “vacant and foreclosed properties” ordinance three years ago that forces lenders to register each foreclosure and put down a $5,000 bond assuring the property will be maintained. Springfield passed two ordinances that require preforeclosure mediation and mandate maintenance of vacant and foreclosed housing. Lenders are held liable with potential fines of $300 per day for noncompliance, and a $10,000 bond is required for each vacant or foreclosed property.
Brockton’s finance director, Jay Condon, was initially skeptical about the eminent domain idea, but said he is open to listening. Assuming the city receives assurances of the legality of the measure and financing structure, Condon said he can envision Brockton going to bid for a private partner or partners to pay the city for those loans.
Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.