The St Louis Contrarian

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

Archive for the tag “urban homesteading”

Vacancies and Crime

There is a major overlooked cause of crime in St. Louis, vacant foreclosed properties.

Much research shows that vacant properties not only cause deterioration of a neighborhood, but cause an increase in crime. These properties become attractions for criminals and vandals.

St. Louis has thousands of vacant foreclosed properties owned by a city agency, the LRA. These properties were usually foreclosed upon for non payment of taxes. This foreclosure process may take years, all the while keeping abandoned buildings on line. In addition, and equally important, it takes the city years to dispose of these properties, many of which should be razed. They lack the data systems to oversee this inventory and even know what they have in stock.

I worked for HUD selling foreclosed properties in Milwaukee. From that experience I learned certain lessons. Holding a property on the market in the hope of getting a better price is foolish, properties must be priced to sell quickly, investors must be activated to purchase properties,the private sector can be good partners, Urban Homesteading is a great tool to sell properties and bring homebuyers into the city, bulk sales are necessary, and good data and information is critical. Demolition must also be part of the mix. The City of St. Louis has done very little of these things. Written by Paul Dribin

New St. Louis urban homesteading program

www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-launches-a-new-homesteading-program-offering-homes-for/article_66f7dd73-6272-52e3-8c9b-32e4caa9303a.html

this is a great idea and needs to be expanded. Why wait for property to be in LRA inventory for five years?

Urban Homesteading

I wanted to write again about Urban Homesteading, a program which I believe would be transformative for St. Louis and other communities. My previous work with this program in Milwaukee inspires my vision.

St. Louis has lots of vacant boarded houses in city possession. Urban Homesteading would allow for the transfer of these houses to individuals and families who agree to live in the houses and rehabilitate them to code. Title would transfer to the homesteader after successful completion of the rehabilitation. Some important caveats:

1. The rehab would need to be completed by professional contractors approved by the city. Sweat equity does not work in these situations.

2. The families selected for the program must be working and pass a screening. This will not work for people with significant social problems.

3. The properties must be carefully selected. They should be as close together as possible, and in a condition that allows for rehab.

St. Louis is working hard to attract young people to the city. This program can significantly help that effort.

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