Fighting Foreclosure Blight With Demolition

As foreclosures increase throughout the country, more cities are looking to solve the problem of abandoned and dilapidated houses with demolition.

"Of the 129m housing units in America, 18.6m stand empty. At 2.9%, the home-owner vacancy rate, which measures the share of vacant homes for sale, has reached its highest point since measurement began in 1956. At the end of the first quarter there were 2.3m empty homes on the market, an increase of more than 160,000 from the end of 2007. There is a vicious circle: the huge number of houses on the market pushes home prices down, and as prices decrease, mortgages become harder to refinance, leading to more foreclosures, vacancies and so on. The more homes are on the market, the less chance that prices will stabilise."

"In cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte, formerly vibrant neighbourhoods have taken on the dilapidated air of ghost towns since the subprime crisis. Municipal taxes go unpaid, and boarded-up homes invite looting, drugs and other criminal activity. In one near-abandoned Atlanta neighbourhood, speculators who could not sell homes even paid homeless people to occupy them. Cleveland and Baltimore have filed lawsuits against subprime lenders this year, claiming their practices cost the cities millions of dollars in lost taxes because of lower property values. These cities are exploring another bold solution to the surplus of vacant houses: demolition."

Full Story: The wrecking-ball response


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
building block set

Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.