Community Progress Blog

Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – February 17, 2017

Written by on February 17, 2017

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!

Sawmill River in Yonkers, New York (Credit Payton Heins for the Center for Community Progress, 2014)

Sawmill River in Yonkers, New York (Credit Payton Heins for the Center for Community Progress, 2014)

National

The building code profession is dying out, and that’s a problem
“Construction rates are healthy—there is plenty of need for building inspectors’ services. And theirs aren’t skills that can be easily automated. So why are their ranks dwindling?” 
Jake Blumgart | CityLab | February 8, 2017

Trump can now re-create the housing crisis that got him elected 
“By dialing back Dodd-Frank regulations, President Trump exposes the nation to another financial catastrophe—a sequel to the housing crisis that helped him win the election.”
Kriston Capps | CityLab | February 3, 2017

Arizona

Phoenix community garden seeks federal reprieve to avoid shutdown
“Farmers on the 15-acre site received a notice to vacate the land, but supporters including Mayor Greg Stanton and Sen. John McCain are trying to persuade the federal government to let them stay.” 
Brenna Goth | The Arizona Republic | February 8, 2017

Maryland

Newton Street eyesore picked for community center 
“For the past four years, it has been cited repeatedly for tall grass and rubbish, and the inside had been trashed…The plan is to create centers for neighborhoods kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, focusing on after school and summer programs, [Mayor Jake Day] said.” 
Liz Holland | delmarvanow | February 15, 2017

Project Core tears down blight in Baltimore 
“The commitment is to demolish as many blighted city blocks as possible in four years, creating green space in some and developing others.” 
Lisa Robinson | WBALTV11 | February 10, 2017

Michigan

Young Preservationists ‘heart bomb’ historic homes and buildings 
“We want more people to have that energy that we feel, and the love for the buildings that we have,” [Justis] Heppner said. “So if we can spread that and get people motivated to actually care about where we come from and where we’re headed, that’s important.”
Heather Khalifa | mlive | February 12, 2017

New York

The High Line’s next balancing act 
“It’s harder than it should be, and the stakes are much higher than visitor statistics. The network of project leaders is tackling a long overdue conversation about how to improve neglected neighborhoods, without pushing away the very people they intend to serve.” 
Laura Bliss | CityLab | February 7, 2017

Ohio

Cleveland plans ambitious inspection of rentals
“The inspections are aimed at “preventing lead poisoning and making sure rentals are safer and healthier for children,” The Plain Dealer reports.” 
Rachel Dovey | Next City | February 13, 2017

South Carolina

New Florence department could lead to faster demolition of abandoned properties
“Florence City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would ultimately allow the city to demolish abandoned properties more quickly and help business owners handle all permits in one location.” 
Kiahnna Patterson | WBTW13 | February 13, 2017

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

Credit: Lynn Hey, News & Record

Credit: Lynn Hey, News & Record

Affordable housing advocates celebrate a success story 
“Greensboro participated for the first time on Tuesday by presenting a Valentine to Scott Garner, who bought and rehabbed 527 W. Terrell St. Representatives of the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the city’s Minimum Housing Standards Commission decorated the fence with a sign and heart-shaped balloons, celebrating its transition from a vacant and condemned property to a family rental home.”
Susan Ladd | News & Record | February 14, 2017

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