Matthew Glowicki explains Louisville's ongoing blight reduction efforts: "In Louisville, 6,519 buildings and lots sit stagnant and unoccupied, blights on the community and weights on attempts to raise property values. They're the reason Mayor Greg Fischer announced in 2013 a goal to reduce the number of abandoned buildings by 40 percent by July 2015 through demolitions and foreclosures."
The city has already reached 24 percent, on the way to that 40 percent goal, according to Glowicki.
The article provides the hard news of the ongoing effort while also serving as a primer on the causes of vacant properties, their impact on property values and government coffers, and the measures available to cities looking to mitigate the blight caused by vacant properties.
The article details especially the work of Vacant and Abandoned Property Statistics, also known as VAPStat, a new city program launched in 2013 to mitigate the city's vacant properties—the total of which grew quickly between 2006 and 2008 and is supplemented by persistent foreclosures.
The Courier-Journal's coverage of the city's vacant and abandoned properties includes an interactive map.