Community Progress Blog

Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties – October 4, 2018

Written by on October 4, 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!

Saw Mill River in Yonkers, New York. (Credit: Payton Heins for Center for Community Progress, 2014)

National

The neighborhoods that offer a ‘bargain’ on upward mobility 
“Neighborhoods like Springwells Village are called “opportunity bargains”—relatively affordable areas that offer high chance of escaping poverty. While economic mobility is generally limited in the United States, especially for the poor and minorities, many such “opportunity bargains,” exist around the country, and have now been meticulously mapped in a new project[.]” 
Tanvi Misra | CityLab | October 1, 2018

Elizabeth Warren’s ambitious fix for America’s housing crisis
“The legislation, titled the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, is perhaps the most far-reaching assault on housing segregation since the 1968 Fair Housing Act. It’s ambitious, pouring half a trillion dollars over 10 years into affordable-housing programs, and funded by raising the estate tax to Bush-era levels.”  
Madeleine Carlisle | The Atlantic | September 25, 2018

Making the case for America’s middle neighborhoods
“For cities with limited resources, investing in middle neighborhoods can produce the biggest returns. Local governments must place middle neighborhoods on a continuum of comprehensive development. Address public policies that undermine or marginalize these areas to demonstrate the national interest in improving middle neighborhoods.”   
Kelly Regan | Next City | September 2018

California

Housing prices are resegregating the Bay Area, UC Berkeley study finds 
“‘The housing market today is operating in the context of an architecture of segregation and vulnerability that was baked into cities and regions over a period of many decades,’ said Dan Rinzler, a senior policy analyst with the [California Housing Partnership Corporation]. ‘It’s more or less moving the pieces around to the detriment of people of color and low-income communities.'”   
Kimberly Veklerov | San Francisco Chronicle | September 19, 2018

Michigan

Detroit Land Bank notches many wins including 10,000 side-lot sales 
“With titles cleared, the [Detroit] Land Bank began to push out its parcels to the public for productive reuse. The biggest success so far probably has been its side-lot program. Not so long ago, neighbors would try in vain for months or years to buy the vacant lot next to their homes from the city. The Land Bank eased the process, making it possible for a residents to buy a vacant lot next to their property for just $100.”  
John Gallagher | Detroit Free Press | September 23, 2018

New York

This space available
“While a commercial crisis might more likely be associated with periods of economic distress, this one comes during an era of soaring prosperity, in a city teeming with tourism and booming with development. That has aggravated the vacancy problem by producing a glut of new commercial real estate.”  
Corey Kilgannon | The New York Times | September 6, 2018

Texas

Who’s losing out on Hurricane Harvey aid in Texas?
“Across Southeast Texas, residents in a handful of small, white, affluent towns stand to reap far more Harvey recovery funds than those just a few miles away, in far more populous but poorer majority-minority cities—resulting in huge racial disparities in the distribution of recovery funds.”  
Kriston Capps | CityLab | October 3, 2018

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

(Credit: Ernst Peters, The Ledger)

Lincoln neighborhood project takes off after years of blight
“‘I really wanted to better myself and be a homeowner,’ said Debra Patterson, who plans to move from St. Luke Apartments early next year into one of the 21 homes on the cleared site of what used to be the apartment complex. ‘It’s just really exciting to see the community come up like this.'” 
John Chambliss | The Ledger | September 29, 2018

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