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The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

Archive for the tag “housing vacancies”

Crime and Vacancies

I have attended various task forces of the Vacancy Collaborative in St. Louis. What I find fascinating is that no one in the group has defined why there are a large amount of vacancies in St. Louis. The answer is really quite simple; crime, crime, crime. There are several facts which back my assertion:

1. The parts of St. Louis that have a reasonable crime rate do not have significant vacancies and tax foreclosed properties sell quickly

2. The areas that have high crime rates have a high number of vacancies.

What is troubling to me is that no one seems to want to talk about this. It would be as if a discussion about lung cancer deaths did not include the problem of smoking.

Written by Paul Dribin

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Vacancies in St. Louis

Good news! The City of St. Louis is mobilizing efforts to deal with the vacancy situation in St. Louis which encompass 7000 vacant properties. I have worked with issue when I worked with the city and HUD. Several factors in addition to economic instability contribute to the vacancy problem. These issues I am familiar with are:

1. The aldermanic system. Many aldermen do not want vacant properties razed because of some perverted idea that it will take constituents away from their communities

2. A reluctance to demolish anything.

3. A policy by the city of letting vacant properties sit because they think there will be a demand for these properties at some time in the future.

4. Historic preservationists also do not want buildings razed. I remember when I worked at HUD being chewed out by a historic preservationists because we razed a building that was severely fire damaged.

5. The aldermanic system in St. Louis.

6. A lack of funding to deal with environmental and lead based paint issues.

I wish the people working on this project well. Written by Paul Dribin

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