Systemic Vacancy

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What is a vacant, abandoned, or deteriorated property?

Vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties (VAD) are residential, commercial, and industrial buildings or vacant lots that pose harm to residents and the surrounding community. Their owners or managers have not kept up the property, walked away, neglected paying taxes or utilities, or defaulted on mortgages.

Examples of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties include residential homes that remain vacant for long periods of time; abandoned, boarded-up buildings; vacant lots that attract trash and illegal dumping; vacant commercial properties; and abandoned industrial properties with environmental contamination. Some people may refer to these collectively as “blighted properties.” Our definition of VAD also includes occupied deteriorating single-family homes and apartments with significant housing code violations, as these properties also harm residents, neighbors, and neighborhoods.

What Causes Systemic Vacancy?

This graphic depicts systemic vacancy, the community experience of widespread property vacancy caused by the combined actions of people, policies, and processes.

Cycle of Vacancy 2 copyright Center for Community Progress 2

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+
Million

Vacant units in the United States

According to the US Census