Blight

View of a housing permit document with a home blueprint, stamped "approved."

Pre-Permitted Housing Plans Can Combat Blight, Revive Neighborhoods

Faced with blighted neighborhoods where the cost of building a house would exceed its eventual market value, the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, streamlined the permitting process to help lower development costs.

February 14, 2024 - Strong Towns

Phialdelphia skyline at sunset with close-up of bridge in foreground.

How Effective are Philadelphia’s Keystone Opportunity Zones?

The impacts of a tax break designed to create jobs, stimulate development, and reduce blight are proving hard to track.

December 13, 2023 - Next City

Abandoned, decaying building behind locked chain link fence in Atlanta, Georgia

Map Identifies DeKalb County Brownfield Sites

The GIS tool is designed to help developers find vacant and blighted lots that could be restored for new housing or other uses.

July 12, 2023 - Urbanize Atlanta

Vacant grassy lot with some cemet debris in Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Mayor Proposes Vacant Lot Tax

A new tax plan would reform the city’s famously low vacancy tax rates in an effort to stimulate more housing development and limit speculation.

June 11, 2023 - Urbanize Detroit

Boarded-up facade of vacant brick building in CIncinnati, Ohio

Ohio to Demolish Thousands of Vacant Buildings

The state is funding a $150 million effort to raze blighted buildings to accelerate revitalization.

December 13, 2022 - The Center Square

Chicago Public Housing

What Is Urban Renewal?

Ostensibly intended to improve "blighted" neighborhoods and provide better housing conditions, urban renewal often involved displacement and the wholesale destruction of urban communities.

July 16, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

Blight Demolition

$160 Million in Bond Funding for Demolitions on the Ballot in Detroit

Proposal N, on the ballot for Detroit voters next week, will provide $160 million in bond funding for demolitions and $90 million to mothball homes for future rehab, but, according to this opinion, it won't solve the city's blight challenges.

October 29, 2020 - Detroit Free Press

Detroit Vacant

Detroit Continues Demolition Program After Lead Risks Revealed

The city of Detroit said it would halt a demolition program after a report revealed the amount of lead released by demolitions into the environment, risking the health of children and other local residents.

October 20, 2020 - Detroit Free Press

Empty Homes

Neighborhood Homes Investment Act Picks Up Momentum

A proposed tax credit designed to stabilize single-family neighborhoods facing growing numbers of vacancies is making its way through Congress.

September 2, 2020 - Shelterforce Magazine

Large Lot Vacancies

Neighborhood Homes Investment Act Offers Tax Incentives for Single-Family Rehabs

In struggling communities full of single-family homes, the cost is too high for developers to acquire and renovate blighted properties. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act would offer an incentive for investment in existing building stock.

July 23, 2020 - Affordable Housing Finance

Omaha Nebraska

'Extremely Blighted' Designation Spurs Investment in Nebraska Cities

Neighborhoods in Nebraska, located in areas already deemed blighted, will receive priority funding and homebuyer tax credits from the state.

December 28, 2019 - Next City

Syracuse Highway

Can Reparations Right the Wrongs Caused by a Highway?

An elevated highway destroyed an African American community in Syracuse, New York. Is just removing it enough?

November 7, 2019 - The Washington Post

Baltimore Vacancy

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 - The Washington Post

Boston West End

Watch: The Dark Side of Eminent Domain

In cities like Boston, the government’s right to take private property displaced residents and destroyed vulnerable neighborhoods and communities.

October 3, 2019 - The Urbanist

4 abandoned homes in St. Louis's Greater Ville neighborhood

The Dark Side of the Rust Belt Revival

Cities in flyover country are facing new redevelopment challenges as companies relocate from costly coastal cities. In St. Louis, downtown revitalization has also brought plans to tackle blight, and the consequences for residents could be immense.

August 21, 2019 - CityLab

Hotel Alexandra

Why Are These Prime Boston Properties Sitting Vacant?

Even though they often occupy valuable real estate, some Boston properties have sat vacant in various states of limbo for years.

July 2, 2019 - The Boston Globe

Vacant Home, Cleveland

In Mobile, an Institutional Revamp to Tackle Blight

Mobile, Alabama, has changed the way it deals with blight, and the results have been substantial.

June 17, 2019 - Fast Company

Bank Owned

From Vacant Property to Affordable Housing Development

The city of St. Petersburg provides a model for transforming blight to a blessing.

January 13, 2019 - Governing

Hurricane Katrina

Measuring the Effect of Blight Remediation Programs

Tulane researchers received major funding support from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of blight remediation on youth and family violence.

November 2, 2018 - Tulane University

Court Restores 'Doors and Windows' Code Enforcement Ordinance in Philadelphia

One of Philadelphia's most potent code enforcement tools is back in effect after the state Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling by a lower court.

September 29, 2018 - PlanPhilly

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