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File #: 200105    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 1/30/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 2/6/2020
Title: Urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact House Bill 2140, which would protect against construction-related damage to adjoining properties by requiring contractors to purchase surety bonds.
Sponsors: Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Council President Clarke, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20010500
Title
Urging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact House Bill 2140, which would protect against construction-related damage to adjoining properties by requiring contractors to purchase surety bonds.
Body
WHEREAS, House Bill 2140 was inspired by a tragic, near-fatal building collapse in Fishtown last February. Unexpectedly, the Klenk family home lurched, causing the ceiling to cave in and the floor to sink in. Members of the household, including a 94-year-old grandmother with dementia, had to quickly escape to avoid serious injury or death. After investigation, it was discovered that contractors, performing work on the adjoining property, had caused a structural collapse, forcing the City to demolish both houses for safety purposes; and

WHEREAS, The Klenk family's ordeal is not an outlier, but rather a harrowing example of a growing volume of construction accidents, which is correlated with Philadelphia's real estate development boom; and

WHEREAS, David Perri, the commissioner of the Department of Licenses & Inspections, has verified the vast scope of the problem, faulting incompetent work, inexperienced contractors, excessive rainfall, "the mentality of get-rich-quick," and a regulatory framework that "encourages teardowns" as the primary contributing factors; and

WHEREAS, District councilmembers have received high volumes of complaints of construction-related damage from constituents; and

WHEREAS, Community Legal Services has begun to represent owners of homes damaged by construction activity, as a result of an increasing number of requests for assistance from community members; and

WHEREAS, In light of the foregoing, better regulatory tools are necessary to address the proliferation of claims of construction-related damage in Philadelphia; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 2140 would provide homeowners with a clear, reliable mechanism to recover the costs of remediating construction-related damage, while also creating better incentives for property owners...

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