Stockton has the highest rate of foreclosures in the country. One in every 31 homes in the city is being repossessed.
Many unoccupied residences can become eyesores because the grass isn’t watered or cut. And unused swimming pools are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Police spokesman Pete Smith says abandoned homes eventually lead to an increase in crime.
SMITH: “We certainly anticipate seeing some problems in the way – burglaries or trespass, vandalism, these types of things.”
The proposed ordinance would hold the lending institution that controls a foreclosed home responsible for its upkeep. Violators could be fined up to a thousand dollars a day.
Some real estate agents question whether the fines can be collected – especially if the lending institution is in another state or country.
The ordinance is expected to be before the city council early next month.