The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation would be holding a joint committee public hearing to obtain comments on a bill that would hold leasees accountable and responsible for abandoned and blighted buildings on their property.
Three of the delegation’s committees—the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee, Health and Welfare Committee, and the Tourism Committee—would be holding a joint public hearing today at 9:45am at the House of Representatives chamber on Capital Hill to receive opinions on House Local Bill 20-14, authored by Rep. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan).
HLB 20-14 seeks to hold people listed as the leasee of a property responsible for several aspects in the cleaning up of blighted or abandoned buildings, including maintenance.
“[Blighted, abandoned buildings] detract from the quality of life, as well as the economic opportunities, of those living around them,” the bill states. “These types of conditions lower the livability of neighborhoods and can increase crime and calls for emergency services, all of which put additional strains on already taxed local budgets.”
According to the Department Public Works, there are currently 150 blighted and abandoned buildings in the CNMI, 80 of which DPW had already condemned.
Condemned buildings are buildings with questions as to its structural integrity and are considered uninhabitable.