Policy Analysis: Vacant Properties

The Vacant Properties Campaign, a partnership between Smart Growth America, Local Initiative Support Corporation, The Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech and the Genesee Institute, worked to ensure that municipalities would not struggle alone in solving the problems associated with vacant and abandoned properties. The following in-depth reports analyze existing issues and strategies and propose new techniques for dealing with the unique issues faced by each community.

In 2010, the Vacant Properties Campaign was reborn as the Center for Community Progress. Please visit CommunityProgress.net for more information.

Vacant Properties: The True Costs to Communities
August 2005
This report summarizes research on the costs vacant and abandoned properties impose upon communities. It also highlights local programs successfully recapturing the value in these properties.

Click here to download “Vacant Properties: The True Costs to Communities” (PDF)

Regenerating Youngstown and Mahoning County Through Vacant Property Reclamation: Reforming Systems and Right-Sizing Markets
February, 2009

In partnership with the Youngstown-Mahoning County Vacant Properties Initiative, the National Vacant Properties Campaign designed a work plan and proposal for a regional assessment of vacant properties in the City of Youngstown and Mahoning County, in Ohio. This report and policy brief discuss the first two phases of that project: an assessment of existing city and county vacant property systems (programs, policies, and projects) and an action plan of next steps for implementing the report’s recommendations. Pilot testing of the system reforms through special implementation workshops was also included in the final project.

Click here to download the Youngstown Policy Assessment Report (PDF)
Click here to download the Youngstown Program Brief (PDF)


Realtors and Neighborhood Recovery: How Realtors Can Help Make the New Neighborhood Stabilization Program a Success
December 2008

This special guide, authored by the National Vacant Properties Campaign, was commissioned by the National Association of Realtors and provides background about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. It offers ideas on how realtors and realtor associations can play a pivotal role in the stabilization and recovery of neighborhoods across the country.

Click here to download Realtors and Neighborhood Recovery (PDF)

Cleveland at the Crossroads: Turning Abandonment into Opportunity
June 2005

This report offers recommendations based on assessments of existing programs and policies from Cleveland, Ohio.

Click here to download Cleveland at the Crossroads (PDF)

Reinventing Dayton and the Miami Valley through Vacant Property Revitalization and Reclamation
May 2005
This report offers recommendations based on assessments of existing programs and policies from Dayton and its older suburbs.

Click here to download Reinventing Dayton and the Miami Valley (PDF)