Tuesday, September 7, 2010
The problem of abandoned homes is an increasingly serious policy issue in both urban and suburban settings. Vacant buildings act as a beacon for drugs, prostitution, arson, and other human ills. A judge in Cleveland as a low cost solution:
Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka is testing a way to board up vacant houses so they don't look like glaring neon signs saying nobody's home. Pianka brought in a Chicago man who specializes in making plywood to look like doors and windows. He gets vacant homes to blend into the neighborhood and not stand out as eyesores that draw drive-by vandals as well as vagrants and kids.
I'm on record preferring a rollback of single-use zoning in these troubled areas (let businesses move into these empty properties), but this looks like a far more politically feasible approach.
(pic credit: Chuck Crow - used under creative commons license)