Urban Fold

Quantifying the Impact of Abandoned Properties in Philly

A new study suggests that Philadelphia's 40,000 vacant buildings reduce home values by as much as $8,000 and cost the city $20 million per year in maintenance.

The chronic problem is complicated by ownership issues, says Catherine Lucey. Various city agencies own only 25% of the properties. Some of the remaining 75% go to public auction, but many are left to decay.

Mayor Michael Nutter's administration has employed anti-blight programs to combat the problem with minimal success but is also considering models from other cities, Lucey writes:

"One example that has been heralded is in Genesee County, Mich., home to Flint, where the government set up a land bank that takes control of abandoned and tax-foreclosed properties and decides the best use - be it to sell the property to a developer, to give it to a community group or to maintain the land itself."

Full Story: Abandoned properties have reduced city home values by an average of $8,000, study finds


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