LISC Institute

Spotlight

Vacant Property Strategies


Vacant properties can attract crime, create unsafe conditions, and deter new people moving to a neighborhood.  The foreclosure crisis in the aftermath of the Great Recession precipitated a spike in the number of abandoned properties, increasing the country's vacant housing stock significantly. In this Spotlight on Vacant Properties, we’ve compiled resources to help practitioners launch and implement a range of vacant property remediation strategies. Read the below Letter from the Editor for further background on this topic and an overview of what this month's Spotlight covers. 
 

Letter from the Editor

 

Q&A with LOVELAND Technologies

Jerry Paffendorf, CEO and co-founder of LOVELAND Technologies, tells us how he started the company, what he thinks about the data capacity of the Community Development field, and how practitioners needs to innovate.

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In Practice

This report from the Lincoln Institute explores the issue of vacancy by defining vacant property, what constitutes a “healthy” vacancy rate, how vacant properties are measured, and why properties become vacant and abandoned.

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The Center for Community Progress's guide presents new strategies, resources and an examination of effective solutions to combat vacant and abandoned properties.

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LISC's Helene Caloir provides an overview of the “Zombie” and Vacant Properties Remediation and Prevention Initiative, including its history, challenges, and emerging best practices in New York state.

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From the LISC Institute Archives: Read Addressing Problem Properties and Their Impacts for an overview of the issues surrounding vacant properties, and some strategies on how to address them. 

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What we're reading

As part of Cincinnati's 100% Housing initiative vacant houses are being transformed into affordable housing. Learn more about how the project started and what it entails from Soapbox Cincinnati.

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Chicago has a plan for 43 vacant lots near the western edge of Douglas Park to be redeveloped into market-rate homes as part of their "Parade of Homes" program. Read more from Curbed Chicago.

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CityLab details the other side to America’s housing crisis: vacancy, and in some cases hyper-vacancy, in the nation’s hard-pressed Rust Belt cities.

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Learn how community engagement, including the Mowing-to-own program in St. Louis, and installing trees and picket fences in Philly, improved the economics of vacant-land reuse in this article from Next City.

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Resource libraries and tools

Lots to Love is a guide for community organizations and residents who are interested in transforming vacant lots into well-loved spaces.

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Visit the CCP for recommendations on reusing vacant and underutilized buildings and land parcels to plan, redevelop and rebuild cities and neighborhoods.

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