The Vacancy Epidemic

A new report uses terms like epidemic and hyper-vacancy to drive home the point about the effects of vacancies on communities like Cleveland, Gary, Toledo, and Detroit.

June 8, 2018, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Detroit Vacant Properties

University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment / Flickr

Patrick Sisson shares insights into a new report from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy titled "The Empty House Next Door." The report examines "abandoned and unused properties [and] offers a deft accounting of the cost of these buildings on the surrounding areas."

"Compiled by urban scholar Alan Mallach, the report offers a sobering snapshot of just how widespread vacancy has become, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession," writes Sisson.

Vacant properties aren’t new. According to Mallach, the roots of today’s problem lie in the Great Recession and subsequent foreclosure crisis, in which many homeowners, especially lower-income residents, lost their homes. Combined with the declining population in legacy cities, vacancies have skyrocketed.

The article includes a lot more detail on the research used to build the report's conclusions. Alan Mallach also authored a new book on related subjects, The Divided City, published this month by Island Press.

Friday, June 1, 2018 in Curbed

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