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Mayoral hopeful Consalvo vows to fight blight

Rob Consalvo, a city councilor running for mayor, visited a neglected house in HydePark.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Rob Consalvo, a city councilor running for mayor, visited a neglected house in HydePark.

Standing in front of a dilapidated house in Hyde Park Thursday morning, Councilor Rob Consalvo said that if elected mayor he will impose stiff new penalties on big banks that fail to maintain foreclosed properties they own in Boston.

Consalvo, who spearheaded an ordinance in 2010 that allows the city to impose up to $400 in fees on banks that do not keep up foreclosed houses, wants the city Inspectional Services Department to send banks a detailed list of improvements needed to keep foreclosed homes on par with other properties in the neighborhood.

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Under the proposal, if a bank does not make the improvements within three months, a city contractor will complete the work and then bill the bank.

From there, the penalties would get stiffer. Consalvo said the city would put municipal liens on banks who do not reimburse the city. If a bank does not pay within a year, the city would apply for receivership of the property.

“The reality is that whoever owns this, whichever bank foreclosed on it . . . needs to be held to the same standard that every other neighbor in the neighborhood is held to,” he said. “Big banks shouldn’t be exempt from what every other homeowner on this street has done.”

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Walking around the exterior of a house off Dedham Boulevard in Hyde Park, Consalvo said his office gets several calls a day from residents concerned about blighted property and the crime it can attract.

The house has been empty for the past four or five years, and raccoons can be regularly seen picking at garbage bags left around the house, said next door neighbor Dolores Seay.

The 69-year-old said the house has not attracted any crime yet, but she fears it soon might.

“It is just a horrible thing to have in your neighborhood,” she said.

Consalvo said there are still more than 3,000 foreclosed properties in the city.

“There are properties like this all over the city,” he said. “These blighted properties are an eyesore. Who would want to live next to one of these?”

Javier Panzar can be reached at javier.panzar@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @jpanzar.
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