Vacant Property Resources
These documents were written to help municipalities as they work to address one of the many awful consequences of the foreclosure crisis – the enormous increase in the number of vacant properties. In some communities, a few vacant properties with overgrown lawns and an accumulation of trash cause problems for neighbors. In others, troubled buildings attract scavengers, squatters, and gangs and lead to an increase in crime and a decrease in property values. And in some communities with many foreclosed properties, the crisis threatens to doom the entire neighborhood to a cycle of disinvestment and decay. A cluster of vacant properties can destabilize a block. A cluster of troubled blocks can destabilize a neighborhood.
The first document, How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge?, is an introductory guide. It provides a brief overview of nine tools that have proven most effective as municipalities have worked to reduce the negative impact of vacant properties, stabilize neighborhoods, and promote healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. It is intended to help municipalities begin to determine which programs and policies are most appropriate for them.
The second document, How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge? A Toolkit, will help municipalities develop and implement these programs and policies. It provides more detailed information about how to put these tools into use. The Toolkit also discusses best practices and provides links to additional resources.
The third document, How Can Municipalities Confront the Vacant Property Challenge? An Appendix to the Toolkit, provides additional information on each tool discussed in the Toolkit. This information will help municipalities focus on specific implementation challenges associated with each tool. The Appendix will help municipalities work through the small, but important, choices that a municipality will have to make in implementing each tool.
Please check back regularly. As municipalities continue to develop and refine their vacant property programs, we will continue to update the Toolkit and this webpage.