Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – December 5, 2013

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272This is our twice-monthly round-up of the top stories about vacant, abandoned, and problem properties. (Missed our last email, its on our blog.)

While we offer up highlights here, follow us on Twitter for all the latest headlines, in real time.

We’re scouring the web so you don’t have to – but if you have a headline to share, feel free to email us!  


Home Prices Rise Again; Consumer Confidence DipsWhile housing remains a bright spot in our nation’s economic recovery, there are signs that the growth is beginning to slow.Mark Memmot | NPR News | November 26, 2013

Decorative Details Disguise Boarded-Up HousesCompanies and nonprofits around the country are using creative designs to brighten up abandoned homes.Conor Dougherty | Wall Street Journal | November 21, 2013


A Region Redefined Part I: Shaken by the path of Hurricane KatrinaAn account of the growth and redevelopment that has occurred in the wake of Katrina.Gordon Russell | The Advocate: New Orleans Edition | November 28, 2013

A Region Redefined Part II: Struggling with blightDespite major redevelopment, blight continues to plague much of the city.Jacquetta White | The Advocate: New Orleans Edition | November 29, 2013


Some call on city to explore eminent domain to combat blight
Baltimore City is considering using the controversial tool to take underwater mortgages from banks to refinance loans.
Natalie Sherman | Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2013


Task force taking stock of abandoned structuresThe blight task force in Detroit is beginning the daunting task of creating a comprehensive database of the city’s abandoned property.Bryan Gottlieb | Metro News | November 28, 2013

Blight rules get an updatePort Huron updates blight rules to streamline the revitalization process.Beth Leblanc | Times Herald | November 25, 2013

Salvaging aims to boost Detroit neighborhoodsDetroiters are hoping that the booming rush to demolish the city’s vacant properties will bring in jobs and workers, , as well as provide the opportunity for the interesting reuse of materials.Laura Berman | Detroit News | November 21, 2013

Derelict in Detroit, and Hard to SellThe Packard Plant has been the subject of much media scrutiny after it went up for auction earlier this year, but it is proving difficult to sell and even more difficult to redevelop.Bill Vlasic | New York Times | November 21, 2013

New York

Blight a tough battle for cityIn the capital of New York State, the fight against blight is well underway. Preservationists and city officials alike are working to bring redevelopment to the city, but there is much work to be done and the going is slow. Alysia Santo | Times Union | November 24, 2013


Youngstown should shift its demolition focus An op-ed calling for a shift in demolition focus from severely blighted areas to healthier ones.David Skolnick | Vindy.com | November 25, 2013


Land banks are an important tool to clean up blightAn op-ed looking at the Dauphin County land bank, Pennsylvania’s first, calling the land bank an important tool with great potential statewide.Rogette Harris | The Patriot News | December 1, 2013

West Virginia

Land Bank plays role in improving city housingThe land bank has been a big success in Huntington, but it is important to remember that the land bank is only one tool in the fight against blight.Bryan Chambers | Herald Dispatch | November 27, 2013

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

Theaster Gates on the art of urban spaceA new public art project in Chicago brings back community interaction and value to vacant homes.Jian Ghameshi | CBC Radio | November 21, 2013