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Group proposes foreclosure registry for Phoenix

PHOENIX — Phoenix is considering starting a registry of foreclosures in the city.

The registry was proposed by the group Living United For Change in Arizona.

“Our organization and other homeowners went to the City Council’s subcommittee on Housing, Neighborhoods and Homelessness to talk to them about the need to have a registry that keeps track of vacant homes,” said the group’s Monica Sandschafer.

Sandschafer said as of now, homeowners have no way of knowing who owns the vacant home next door.

Dana Newell said there are eight vacant homes in her neighborhood near Seventh Street and Osborn Road. She said crime has gone up in the area, case in point, one of her neighbors has been robbed three times in just over a year. She favors the registry.

“We need to start with ‘What properties are vacant?’ and ‘How many there are’ so we can start holding people accountable, and that’s what this registry will do,” said Newell.

Newell said homeowners have no idea who to call when the weeds get too high at a vacant home, or when there’s a fire at the house.

“Banks are not being held accountable for the properties that they own in my neighborhood where the weeds are growing too high or people are squatting in,” Newell said.

Sandschafer said the subcommittee has referred the matter back to city staff for more investigation, and is expected to consider the proposal in about three months.