Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – November 21, 2013

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Photo Credit: Kim Graziani for Community Progress

Photo Credit: Kim Graziani for the Center for Community Progress

This is our twice-monthly round-up of the top stories about vacant, abandoned, and problem properties. (New to our headlines emails? All our past installments are archived on our blog.)

We’re scouring the web so you don’t have to – but if you have a headline to share, feel free to email us!  We offer up highlights here, but be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest news, in real time.


Where the empty houses areA piece linking high vacancy rates to vacant homes held off the market and exploring where the highest and lowest vacancy rates are nationwide.Jed Kolko | Atlantic Cities | November 6, 2013

Helping our troubled cities rebuild and growLetters to the editor in response to the recent New York Times article on demolition in Rust Belt cities.Karen Freeman-Wilson, Richard Daley, and Thomas Wilcox| New York Times | November 15, 2013


Will the foreclosure crisis kill Chicago?In-depth overview of vacant property issues in Chicago, including the role of the new Cook County Land Bank.Abby Gallun and Micah Maidenberg | Crain’s Business Journal | November 13, 2013


Vacants to value: growing Baltimore block by blockAn op-ed recalling the success of Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program, calling for even greater work in the upcoming years.Paul T Graziano| Baltimore Sun | November 12, 2013


Saginaw offers cash for estimated 500 homes city will then demolish Saginaw property owners have a chance to sell their homes to the city as a part of the city’s Hardest Hit Fund-backed demolition program.Mark Tower | M Live | November 11, 2013

County gets no money for Detroit’s Packard Plant, offers it to next highest bidder Illinois developer Bill Hults failed to come up with the money to purchase the defunct Packard Plant in Detroit, forcing the city to award the purchase to the third highest bidder, who will pay a fraction of the price.David Muller | M Live | November 15, 2013


Kansas City hopes banks will soon help with urban vacant housing crisisKansas City, facing a major vacant property inventory hopes banks will help finance private rehabilitation.Lynn Horsley | Kansas City Star | November 3, 2013

New York

Small-Scale Developers, Big DreamsIn Buffalo, local developers are rehabbing homes and making a difference in their community little by little.Penelope Green | New York Times | November 6, 2013

Revivals Victorian, Gothic and Civic: Newburgh, N.Y., Seeks Renewal Without GentrificationNewburgh, NY, though still facing major challenges, is attracting development with its historic charm, low rents, and strong community.Lisa Selin Davis | New York Times | November 5, 2013


Cuyahoga County Land Bank launches housing program for veteransThe Cuyahoga County Land Bank launched a new program that offers eligible veterans up to 20 percent on vacant homes owned by the land bank.Andrew J Tobias | Cleveland.com | November 12, 2013

Landlords cloaked from citations, prosecution Ohio law is making it nearly impossible for the state to hold landlords accountable for their vacant properties.Mark Ferenchik , Jill Riepenhoff, and Mike Wagner | Columbus Dispatch | November 12, 2013

Landmark deal will force JPMorgan to help blight fight
A portion of the $13 million JPMorgan settlement will go towards fighting blight nationwide, including, possibly, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Melissa Block | NPR News | November 19, 2013


Philadelphia L & I Asks Community Development Corporations To Take Over Neighborhood EyesoresThe Philadelphia Office of Licensing and Inspections is asking Philly area CDCs to take over blighted property through conservatorship.Cherri Gregg | CBS Philadelphia | November 9, 2013

West Virginia

Land Bank has been an important successAn op-ed calling the Huntington Land Bank in West Virginia a big success, and lauding land banking as a tool nationwide.Cherri Gregg | CBS Philadelphia | November 9, 2013

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!


This pop-up market in New Orleans turned a vacant lot into a market, providing retail options for residents and opportunity for small vendors.
Kimberley Singletary | The Advocate | August 21, 2013