But not because there are fewer foreclosures. In fact, City Councilor Rob Consalvo said today, foreclosures are up 5% over last year. Consalvo (Hyde Park, Roslindale) has proposed letting the city force banks and mortgage companies to use indoor framing and locks to secure their foreclosed houses.
Consalvo's proposal - an amendment to an existing city ordinance that requires owners of foreclosed properties to register with the city and maintain their property - would apply to houses that have been in foreclosure for at least six months and which ISD has concluded has problems with plywood falling off or being pried off
Consalvo said plywood does not weather well and is easily ripped off by vandals or miscreants seeking a place to stay or set up shop - which can mean dangerous eyesores for neighbors.
Consalvo said replacing plywood with metal bars or panels mounted inside the houses would make the structures more secure and look far less offensive - in a window, the bars might look more like a shade or curtain, he said.
Councilor Maureen Feeney (Dorchester) agreed "this is a huge issue," and vowed her committee on government services, which would have to consider the change, would hold a hearing quickly - as in next week.
At-large Councilor Steve Murphy, who chairs the council's committee on public safety, said he wants to convene a meeting of his own to see how a similar overall ordinance could be drafted for commercial and industrial properties in Boston, such as the block of abandoned warehouses in Roxbury that collapsed in a nine-alarm fire over the weekend.