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What Will It Take to Stabilize Communities?

JAN 4, 2012 11:35am ET
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When we turn the calendar to 2012, the U.S presidential race will heat up. America's housing crisis is certain to be a hot campaign issue, and we will have no shortage of suggestions to stabilize communities—from expanded programs to purchase and redevelop vacant and foreclosed properties, to assistance to either buy a home or prevent foreclosure.

It seems counter-intuitive, but demolishing non-viable properties is critical to the solution. It's expensive. In Cleveland, Ohio alone, the cost to demolish unsalvageable properties is estimated to be $150 million.  In Detroit, Chicago and other urban cities, it is probably higher.  

But until the properties are demolished, neighborhoods hardest hit by the crisis won't recover. Property values will continue to decline. Prospective buyers won't invest until troubled properties, and the nuisances they bring, are gone.
An innovative pilot is currently in development in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland. Business and community leaders are working on a model to focus on entire neighborhoods, to demolish hopeless properties and repair salvageable ones to create affordable housing and protect property values.

The big question is whether this idea can work, and if so, can it be expanded across the country to help with the nation’s current housing crisis?

Comments (5)
My hat is off to your atsute command over this topic-bravo!
Posted by | Sunday, January 15 2012 at 8:39AM ET
Ab fab my godloy man.
Posted by | Sunday, January 15 2012 at 11:45PM ET
Great article but it didn't have everything-I didn't find the kitechn sink!
Posted by | Monday, January 16 2012 at 10:27PM ET
Thank you so much for this aritcle, it saved me time!
Posted by | Saturday, January 21 2012 at 4:25PM ET
And I thought I was the sensible one. Thanks for setting me srtiahgt.
Posted by | Tuesday, January 24 2012 at 7:00AM ET
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