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Articles in the The Housing Crisis Category

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[10 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]
Confronting Urban Population Decline

The fact that many American cities are experiencing significant population decline is old news. This trend has been occurring since 1950, particularly in the older cities that were once part of the “Great American Manufacturing Belt” that stretched across the northern tier of the country from New England to just west of the Mississippi River.

What is not old news, however, is that many of these same cities are now experiencing serious problems with vacant and abandoned properties.

These problems are relatively new in many places, and unlike population loss per se, the loss of taxpaying households poses an existential threat to the fiscal healthof these cities.

Featured, Good Ideas, The Housing Crisis »

[18 Sep 2012 | One Comment | ]
Block Parties: A New Solution to the Rust Belt Housing Problem?

Rust belt cities have numerous neighborhoods that are sometimes called “transitional.” Unfortunately, its not always clear which direction they are transitioning. On one hand, these neighborhoods often offer proximity to downtown or another immobile amenity such as waterfront or a university. This makes them desirable to young professionals, couples without children, and some parents who choose to raise their children in an urban setting. On the other hand, these neighborhoods have far more housing units than households due to decades of sprawl and filtering. This keeps rents low and means the neighborhoods cannot offer the exclusivity always found in gentrified core neighborhoods of the coastal cities.

Architecture, Featured, Good Ideas, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis »

[4 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]
Pittsburgh’s PHLF Preservation Group Takes on Major Downtown Project

Check out the work being done by the folks at the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, which they highlighted in this video.
Learn more about their history and their work downtown, which has gotten some recent publicity.

Economic Development, Real Estate, Sprawl, The Housing Crisis »

[7 Jan 2011 | One Comment | ]

Frequent Rust Wire readers know we’ve written before about the housing crisis creating Rust Belt-like conditions in some Sun Belt cities, such as Las Vegas (See here and here).
Now there appears to be actual data to back that up, according to a study from the Research Institute for Housing America, a division of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The Los Angeles Times explains:
“A traditional city in decline is one that has suffered a sustained population drop, leaving behind empty houses, apartment buildings, offices and storefronts. Cleveland and Detroit, for instance, …

Economic Development, Featured, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis, Urban Planning »

[29 Dec 2010 | One Comment | ]
Chicago to Redevelop Former Steel Site

The former US Steel South Works in South Chicago will be redeveloped, The New York Times reports.
The “ambitious” $4 billion plan will remake the 470-acre site with homes, a marina, commercial space and a school, the paper reports. It is the largest undeveloped parcel in the city.
You can learn more about the history of the site here; take a look at the before and after photos from the mill’s heyday (below).

This history site notes that 20,000 people once worked at the mill, which closed in 1992 after operating 110 years. It also notes that …

Editorial, Real Estate, The Housing Crisis »

[30 Nov 2010 | No Comment | ]
Cleveland Takes its Fight Against Wall Street to the Supreme Court

We’ve previously written about Cleveland’s lawsuit against 21 big banks over the mess that was created by the foreclosure crisis.
This article in Cleveland Scene summarizes the case nicely:
“The case against the banks isn’t a class action about individual homeowner losses, or whether they were tricked into signing commitments they couldn’t keep. (Attorney Joshua) Cohen knows that’s a common misunderstanding. Instead, it’s about the big picture from the city’s point of view — an attempt to recover money Cleveland has been forced to spend cleaning up …

Art, Crime, Economic Development, Real Estate, The Big Urban Photography Project, The Housing Crisis, U.S. Auto Industry »

[4 Aug 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka is making news again for his aggressive stance on dilapidated properties- especially those purchased by people outside of Cleveland and hoping to make a quick buck.
Judge Pianka’s work was previously highlighted on Rust Wire and in this New York Times Magazine cover story last year. (Read more about him here.)
The Plain Dealer reports he is ordering absentee owners of vacant homes to pay restitution to neighbors whose property values have been eroded by the vacant structures nearby.

“What is happening (in Cleveland) is certainly …

Brain Drain, Economic Development, Good Ideas, Real Estate, Regionalism, The Housing Crisis, The Media »

[29 Jun 2010 | One Comment | ]

Our readers know we love to beat up on Forbes magazine for their frequent lists of dead/ dying/ shrinking/ etc. cities.
But let me give credit where credit is due…this is a really interesting and cool interactive graphic that uses IRS data to show migration within the US, sorted by county. Good job on this one, Forbes!
Click on a county to see inward and outward migration and where residents moved to/ or from. I could spend a long time playing with this.
Thanks to a frequent Rust Wire reader, my Dad, for …

Headline, Politics, Real Estate, The Big Urban Photography Project, The Housing Crisis, Urban Planning »

[15 Jun 2010 | 2 Comments | ]
Youngstown and HUD’s Shrinking Cities Lapse

Why can’t Youngstown redevelop its downtrodden neighborhoods the same way Philadelphia has?

Willy Staley asks Youngstown Community Organizer Phil Kidd this question in the latest issue of Next American City.

“The most straightforward, and obvious problem for cities in decline is the way that the Department of Housing and Urban Development doles out its funds,” Staley writes. “The grants are not competitive; cities must apply, but the size of the grant is determined by a formula.”

The formula is weighted by population, so as Youngstown bleeds population, its HUD money shrinks as well. Meanwhile, the destruction caused by vacancy and abandonment cries out for attention.

Crime, Economic Development, Good Ideas, Real Estate, Regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, Sprawl, The Housing Crisis, The Media »

[27 May 2010 | 4 Comments | ]

Some good reporting from Tube City Almanac on the efforts of McKeesport, PA, to demolish vacant and abandoned properties.