City Councilor Proposes Steel Panels For Foreclosures

With foreclosures still on the rise in Boston, the City Council is considering a new ordinance that would require some owners of foreclosed properties to seal buildings with rust-proof steel panels instead of plywood.

City Councilor Rob Consalvo is putting forth a proposal that would require 14-gauge steel panels inside the doors and windows of any building left vacant for longer than six months.

Consalvo thinks the steel panels better secure properties than their plywood counterparts.

"A panel that can't be weathered by the elements, a panel that can't be pried off or broken off by individuals, and a panel that's secured from the inside to ensure that these problems won't happen," he said.

Consalvo said the plan could help keep vandals out of abandoned buildings.

"This wasn't happening in every property of course, but there were chronic, habitual properties around the city that have this problem where the plywood becomes susceptible to the elements and also to vandals," Consalvo said.

The proposed law would also strengthen existing requirements to report foreclosed properties and who's responsible for them.

Mortgage holders would be held responsible for installing the panels.

This program aired on August 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.