Community Progress Blog

Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties – November 2, 2018

Written by on November 2, 2018

This is our twice-monthly round-up of news stories covering challenges related to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated 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!

Homes in Rochester, New York. (Credit: Chelsea Allinger for the Center for Community Progress, 2014)


Much-awaited guidelines opening the Opportunity Zone floodgates 
“Under the new guidelines, Opportunity Funds have 31 months from receiving capital from investors before they must invest the capital into an actual project — provided that they have a plan to do so within six months of receiving the capital. That means investors can have the confidence to invest in Opportunity Funds with a pipeline of projects that might take longer to come to fruition for the sake of community benefit.” 
Oscar Perry Abello | Next City | October 30, 2018

Rent control is back
“There are more renters now than at any time in recent history, and they’re having a tough time of it. That has built national pressure for policies that help tenants get by.”   
Henry Grabar | Slate | October 17, 2018

America’s worsening geographic inequality 
“Spatial inequality in American reflects its widening class and racial divides. Prosperous neighborhoods have larger concentrations of the creative class, while distressed neighborhoods have much larger concentrations of blue-collar workers. Distressed neighborhoods had much larger concentrations of racial minorities.”  
Richard Florida | CityLab | October 16, 2018

In shift, states step in on affordable housing
“Although local zoning rules typically play out in city council and suburban board meetings, states from South Carolina to Hawaii are getting involved. Sometimes this means removing zoning barriers to building affordable housing. And sometimes state lawmakers take the opposite approach, seeking to prevent cities from requiring that builders include affordable housing units in their developments.”  
Teresa Wiltz | Pew | October 15, 2018


Nowhere for people to go: who will survive the gentrification of Atlanta?
“An analysis by Governing magazine ranked Atlanta fifth among US cities experiencing the most gentrification, with more than 46% of its census tracts currently gentrifying. According to the city, median rents are up 28% since 2000, compared with just 9% nationwide over the same timespan. A 2018 report by HotPads found rent in the city was rising three times faster than the national median. It also ranks third nationwide for evictions, with over 400 cases being processed a month.”  
Jamiles Lartey | The Guardian | October 23, 2018


Detroit property tax relief plan gets new life
“Proponents say the law needs to change: The application process for the [poverty] exemption was convoluted and inaccessible in Detroit, which at the same time was overtaxing owners with admittedly inflated assessments. The move could help thousands who have been on repayment plans, paying for inflated property taxes that could have been exempted.” 
Christine MacDonald | The Detroit News | October 28, 2018

North Carolina

City clears blight backlog
“While the city still has hundreds of active housing, public nuisance and zoning violation cases on its books, officials said the fact that the backlog has been virtually eliminated shows that the extra money and manpower the council put into enforcement is making a difference. ‘It’s a council priority now. They made it a priority and they funded it, and it’s making a change in the neighborhoods,’ [Randy] Hemann said.”
High Point Enterprise | High Point Enterprise | October 28, 201


City mails first notices for vacant building owners on new registry
“The registry, created in June with legislation, is designed to identify each empty industrial or commercial space and require owners to submit plans for future use. The program is funded by a registration fee and penalties collected from owners who don’t participate in the revitalization of eyesores scattered across Akron.”   
Doug Livingston | Akron Beacon Journal | October 29, 2018

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

(Credit: ABC 33)

Community garden opens where abandoned houses once stood in Campbell
“Tuesday was the grand opening of the ‘Little Park on Bright Avenue.’ It was a joint effort between the city of Campbell and the Mahoning County Land Bank. They removed an area with three blighted homes and created a small park with a garden in its place.” 
Katie Wilson | ABC 33 | October 30, 2018


No comments yet.

Post a Comment

All fields are required, unless noted.
PLEASE READ: Orbit Media Studios reserves the right to delete off-topic, off-color, or anonymous comments. Get your picture by your comment with Gravatar.