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New Coalition's First Project: Illegal Rental Properties

The partnership was discussed at the MNC and the WNCA meetings.

The civic associations in the Roxborough-Manayunk area have joined forced to address longtime problems in the neighborhoods.

"The coalition of the civics was formed last month to focus on issues that affect all of us," Wissahickon Neighbors Civic Association President Andrew Bantly said at its meeting Monday.

And the first issue they're tackling? Illegal rental properties in the area.

According to one census, 45 to 68 properties in the area are rentals, Bantly said, adding that once the percent of rentals hits 50, the city does not invest as much in the area.

Illegal rental properties, Bantly said, include landlords that do not have a rental license and those who do not pay taxes on their property.

"We want to show City Hall that we are investable here," he said. "And this is a new approach."

The new coalition is working with the

The task force, Bantly said at an earlier meeting, allows city, police, school and local officials to work in tandem.

Just down the hill, Kevin Smith, president of the Manayunk Neighbors Council, says he's on board as well.

"We want to figure out who is a valid rental because out of all of them, only about half are," he said at the council meeting Wednesday.

Smith said he is hoping to use crowd sourcing to find out illegal properties in the area.

"At first we just want to ask people if they know if the rentals on their block are legal," he said. "It's just people asking people."

The project is really going to start getting underway next month, Smith added.

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