The Redevelopment Authority (RACA) is authorized to condemn, using eminent domain, vacant properties meeting one or more of the State's criteria of blight. (These criteria include being unfit for human habitation, dangerous, or environmentally hazardous.)
Working closely with the City's Bureau of Building Standards and Safety, RACA brings qualifying properties before both the Blighted Property Review Committee and the Allentown City Planning Commission. These two entities first determine that properties are eligible for condemnation and later, if owners fail to cooperate with City inspectors and make necessary repairs, certify them to RACA for acquisition. This administrative Blighted Property Review Process typically takes about one year to complete, during which time roughly 75% of the properties are brought into compliance and removed from the process.
Blighted Property Review Committee
The Blighted Property Review Committee is a 5-person board with representatives from City Council, the Allentown City Planning Commission and the Redevelopment Authority, and two Mayoral appointments. (Mayoral appointments must live or work in the City of Allentown.)