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Demolitions Can't Keep Pace With Vacancies in Baltimore

As the city of Baltimore grapples with a declining population, it faces obstinate challenges in controlling the problems associated with vacant buildings, including the "vicious cycle" of vacancies causing more vacancies.
October 29, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Baltimore Vacancy
Charlie Floyd

"Despite demolition crews working at an unprecedented pace in recent months to tear down Baltimore’s vacant houses, the number of abandoned buildings in the city has barely budged," reports Ian Duncan and Christine Zhang.

"Even as long rows of empty houses are being razed, other homes are going vacant much faster than officials had expected — for reasons they’re at a loss to explain."

In February, the city counted 16,724 vacant buildings in the city. Eight months later, the city counted 16,577. The city had hoped to bring that number below 15,000 by the beginning of 2020, but now it appears that goal is out of reach.

According to city data, the number of vacant buildings in neighborhoods targeted by the city demolition program has dropped, but increasing numbers of vacant buildings in other neighborhoods have kept the overall figures stagnant.

The article includes a description of the "vicious cycle" caused by vacant buildings begetting more vacant buildings, the negative effects of that cycle, and a more granular analysis of neighborhood-level demolitions and vacancies.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, October 28, 2019 in The Washington Post
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