Systemic Vacancy

Systemic vacancy is the community experience of widespread property vacancy caused by the combined actions of people, policies, and processes.

Every person deserves to live in a community where property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration do not exist. Even in the most vibrant communities, however, there are neighborhoods trapped in the grips of systemic racism and intergenerational poverty. Coupled with historically inequitable land use and lending practices such as redlining, predatory lending, and exclusionary zoning, these neighborhoods are often the places where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are common.

Our nation’s historic land ownership policies and their accompanying legal systems impact and perpetuate vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties. Economic crises, inequitable government decision making, and natural disasters exacerbate the issues of systemic vacancy. Communities experiencing these conditions often become stuck in a negative cycle where vacant, abandoned, or deteriorated properties intensify poor living conditions impacting the economy, community, housing stock, and individuals which in turn fuels neighborhood challenges and increases levels of vacancy and abandonment.

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Systemic Vacancy Resources
The Cycle of Vacancy
This graphic depicts systemic vacancy, the community experience of widespread property vacancy caused by the combined actions of people, policies, and processes.
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0M+

According to the US Census  there are over 16M vacant housing units in the United States

Featured Publications



Upcoming Events


October 28, 2021 - Cornerstone Webinar
Vacant Land Stewardship – New Online Resource Center  |  Learn More >

November  3 - 4, 2021
National Land bank Network Summit  |  Learn More >

September  7 - 9, 2022 - Chicago, Illinois
Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference  |  Learn More >

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For more information on how Community Progress can help advance your systemic vacancy work, check out: our services, technical assistance, or send us a message to request help.