Councilman Oh stopped by the Northwood Civic meeting on November 21st and talked about his proposed legislation to help homeowners who have been victimized by squatters. The system at present is an embarrassment in that squatters essential have a green light to steal you home.
One thing he pointed is that this is not a case of poor, homeless people who happen to find a vacant, open house to live in. It is often a planned, organized assault on a house that is targeted because the culprits know how to play the system. Once they break in to your property, you call the police and they decide they can’t determine who is in the right so you have to go to the expense of the legal system to get the bums out of your house. Oh’s bill would simplify and speed up that process and put a penalty on the thieves.
When the bill came up for a vote in committee on November 6th, it was tabled for what were called legal concerns. It is due to be tinkered with and then come up for a vote again. Let’s hope it does.
In other news at the meeting, Terry Heiser continues to work on traffic issues in Northwood. There is not doubt that his excellent work on this issue has resulted in improvements where for years no progress could be made.
The conservatorship of 1301 Wakeling after numerous court appearances went through and that property is being rehabbed and will go up for sale as a single family home. No thanks to the owner, another blighted property is being improved.
The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on November 19th at Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott Street.
Councilman at Large David Oh made his case for support of a ballot question that would eliminate the requirement that elected officials be required to resign from office in order to run for another elected office. Oh is sponsoring the amendment to the City Charter which must be approved in the election in May. The issue was rejected by voters in 2007. In Pennsylvania, only the city of Philadelphia, imposes this restriction.
In other business at the meeting where attendance was held down due to the wind and rain outside:
Joe Krause had a tour of The Bridge which is now open. The facility has moved from its location on Pine Road in Fox Chase to the newly built facility at 1100 Adams Avenue. A future date will be announced when the public is invited to see the new facility. The Bridge is a nonprofit behavioral health treatment and youth opportunity program for adolescents and their families seeking to overcome substance abuse, mental health issues, truancy and other challenges.
Work is temporarily halted the the Northwood Frankford Y because of a change in contractors.
Joe Krause and Tom McAvoy have been researching the ownership of the burned out garages on Rutland Street. There is now way of contacting them and no taxes have been paid on the property. The owner of the adjacent garage property has been very cooperative and would like to see the burned out shells demolished.
Questions about the ownership of the tennis courts at Harrison and Rutland has been researched in the past. It appeared that a private owner had title, now records show the city has ownership. This is part of Northwood Park which covers the block from Harrison to Castor to Foulkrod to Rutland. Neighbors would like to see more care of the park and increased use.
There will be a meeting on Thursday, April 17th at 9 AM at Simpson playground, of the House Democratic Policy Committee Meeting on the subject of Recovery and boarding houses and the need for regulation. Residents are encouraged to attend to voice your concerns.
The next meeting of the Northwood Civic Association will be on Tuesday, May 20th at 7 PM at St. James Lutheran Church at Castor Avenue and Pratt Street.