Headlines – The latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – January 16, 2014

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This is our twice-monthly round-up of news stories covering challenges related to vacant, abandoned, and problem properties — and how communities are transforming these properties into assets. (The headlines are for informational purposes only; inclusion does not indicate endorsement.) If you’d like to get this round-up in your inbox, join our email list!

Rochester, NY Corn Hill Landing (Credit: Jennifer Leonard, Center for Community Progress,  2014)

Rochester, NY Corn Hill Landing (Credit: Jennifer Leonard, Center for Community Progress, 2014)


The complications of our deteriorating inner ring suburbs“The problem is that in some of these suburbs all the housing was built at once, and it is all getting old and unsaleable at the same time — and no new housing is being built to take its place.” Daniel McGraw | Belt Magazine | January 5, 2015


Residents get behind $1 city lot program“It wasn’t just the $1 purchase price that has Butler smiling. It’s the “bodacious” ideas, as her husband calls them, that she has for the deep lot that is also next door to a three-flat she owns.” Mary Ellen Podmolik | Chicago Tribune  | January 9, 2015


Opinion: Detroit’s growth must be inclusive “Detroit has a unique opportunity to redevelop with racial equity and inclusion as the centerpiece of the story.” Bradford Frost | The Detroit News | January 7, 2015

A garden grows in Motor City
“The resulting vacant lots and abandoned facilities, however, offered a silver lining for Detroit’s food growing movement.” Nicole Crowder | Washington Post | January 7, 2015


Kansas City gets some needed help tearing down dangerous buildings“Now a local construction company is helping out in hopes that other private companies also will step up to improve blighted neighborhoods.” Mike Hendricks | Kansas City Star | January 8, 2015


Commissioner wants action on blight recommendations
“In a report issued last month, the center noted numerous problems that contribute to blight Uptown, including a high housing vacancy rate, distressed housing market conditions and increasing numbers of absentee landlords.”
Mike Smith | The Montana Standard | January 5, 2015

New York

Editorial: Put pressure on owners of vacant structures
“Faced with the confounding and lingering problem of hundreds of vacant homes, City of Poughkeepsie officials have ratcheted up penalties to deal with absentee owners and big banks neglecting their properties.”
Editorial | Poughkeepsie Journal | January 10, 2015


Lorain starts new vacant property registry for 2015“‘The new law also requires lenders filing foreclosures to deposit a $10,000 bond for each property that ends up in court.” Richard Payerchin | The Morning Journal | January 4, 2015

South Euclid rehabs houses, offers tax breaks, tamps down on delinquencies: What programs could help you?“In an effort to stop foreclosed houses from deteriorating in the hands of negligent owners, the city uses grant money to refurbish neighborhoods and registry laws to keep rental properties in check.” Sara Dorn | Cleveland.com | January 9, 2015


Communities take different approaches to fight blight“More municipalities, redevelopment authorities and long-range planners are helping residents battle blight.” Valerie Myers | goerie.com | January 9, 2015

Editorial: Banking on a good idea“The land bank is essential to cleaning up the city’s blighted neighborhoods by streamlining the obstructionist bureaucracy that for too long has prevented unkempt lots and crumbling buildings from being transferred to responsible owners who could turn them into gardens, homes, or even new businesses.” Editorial | The Philadelphia Inquirer | January 12, 2015


Five neighborhoods with foreclosure problems“This special report delves into five Milwaukee neighborhoods: Clarke Square and Layton Boulevard West on the South Side and Harambee, Lindsay Heights and Washington Park on the North Side, focusing on the human impact of foreclosed and vacant housing and the difference committed neighbors can make.” Matthew Wisla | Urban Milwaukee | January 7, 2015

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

(Credit: Flickr Creative Commons user Barely)

(Credit: Flickr Creative Commons user Barely)

Fighting Detroit blight with gingerbread houses
“For the third year in a row, Scoville will host an auction for gingerbread houses inspired by real Detroit homes. ”
my FOX Detroit | December 19, 2014