Kansas Lawmakers Consider Bill Redefining Abandoned Property

A Kansas Senate bill would allow cities and nonprofit organizations to gain temporary ownership of abandoned houses to rehabilitate them.

The measure would change the definition of abandoned property to include blighted real estate that has been unoccupied for a year.

Critics worry the measure would unfairly target disadvantaged people who can’t afford to maintain their homes.

Under the bill, a local government or nonprofit organization could seek temporary possession of the property in district court to use it for housing.

The Senate voted 32-8 in favor of the bill last week, sending it to the House for further consideration.

Current law allows only organizations, and not local government, to request temporary ownership of homes that have been vacant for 90 days and are two years delinquent in taxes.