History of Scioli Turco.
Scioli Turco is a non-profit 501(c)4 organization formed to address blighted and abandoned properties in eastern Pennsylvania under ACT 135. Act 135 was enacted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to enable community organizations to address blight in their neighborhoods. Under the Act, neighbors and civic associations may petition the Court of Common Pleas to appoint a conservator for a property meeting the criteria set forth by the legislature.
Scioli Turco was incorporated in 2011 as a nonprofit 501(c)4 after successfully remediating a former Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building in Bella Vista. Since then, Scioli Turco has filed more than seventy five cases on behalf of neighborhoods including Bridesburg, Point Breeze, Newbold, Graduate Hospital, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Society Hill, Chinatown, Callowhill and others.
During the time of conservatorship, the properties were either restored or demolished, making way for new construction. As part of the conservatorship process, property liens for taxes and utilities are paid to the City of Philadelphia (and the US Government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) as well as PGW, PECO and PWD.
As a Court-appointed conservator, Scioli Turco is entitled by statute to reimbursement for all out of pocket expenses incurred in the rehabilitation of the subject properties including, but not limited to, legal fees and construction costs. Scioli Turco is compensated by a Court approved fee of 20% of the costs of construction or 20% of the sale price (whichever is greater) if the property is sold. At no time does Scioli Turco (or any conservator) take title to the property; title remains with the owner. Properties are sold if the owner is unable or unwell to pay the cost of conservatorship and only under Court order. All proceeds of a sale, after costs and fees are paid, belong to the owner (or the owner's heirs/estate).
Since Scioli Turco began the task of addressing blighted properties, more local organizations have begun to file for conservatorship and the Court has appointed a second judge to hear these cases. The law has been amended to provide greater clarity to both petitioners and owners. Scioli Turco was consulted by the lawmakers and has given testimony before the Philadelphia City Council Committee tasked with addressing problem properties within the City.
Scioli Turco continues to work with neighbors, the Department of Licenses and Inspection (L&I), the Philadelphia Historical Commission, civic associations and City Council to assist in remediating blighted properties. When possible, cases are settled with owners who are willing to cure the problems with their properties. This mitigates costs and speeds the process.