Abandoned Houses and Vacancies Cause Cities Pain

Cities across the country scramble to deal with abandoned properties as they drive down local economies.

"Rust Belt cities, already beaten down by a miserable economy before foreclosures began spiraling nationally, are moving to cut the number of houses left vacant when the mortgage can't be paid. At stake are valuable tax dollars and the survival of neighborhoods."

"County treasurers and mayors are filing lawsuits and developing land banks to buy distressed properties and either demolish them or repair and sell them. Buffalo, N.Y., brings property owners and lenders together in court on monthly 'Bank Days' to find solutions for cleaning up vacant homes."

"A record-setting number of foreclosures nationally has helped drive down the U.S. economy. A report commissioned last November by the U.S. Conference of Mayors projected that 361 metropolitan areas would take an economic hit of $166 billion in 2008."

"Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, has about 17,000 vacant foreclosed properties -- roughly 4 percent of its 395,000 houses. Baltimore has 16,000, up from 12,300 in 2000."

Full Story: Cities fight glut of vacant houses

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95