The city of St. Paul wants to team up with other cities to pressure banks and other lenders to deal with foreclosed homes that are standing empty.
St. Paul officials Tuesday announced the formation of the Multi-City Litigation Working Group. Participants will share information and coordinate on legal strategy.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said cooperation with the industry is the city's first priority, but the litigation group is a sign the city is serious about dealing with empty properties.
Bob Hume is Coleman's spokesman.
"You have metro areas across the country that are severely hurting. We have entire blocks in the city of St. Paul full of vacant houses. And we need to take some sort of action to bring these lenders to the table to address these houses. And if we're not going to get it from the federal or state governments, we're just going to go out and do it ourselves," Hume said.
St. Paul City Attorney John Choi and Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson will co-chair the group. The St. Paul and Baltimore city councils are expected to consider resolutions supporting the effort Wednesday.