Abandoned homes can be dangerous. How can cities fight blight?
There’s a strange but alarming genre of local news story that keeps popping up: abandoned house fires.
In just the past week, a three-alarm fire destroyed a vacant church in Portland. Then a vacant home caught on fire in Baton Rouge. In San Antonio, an abandoned duplex fire was so bad it spread to the house next door – forcing the neighbors there to leave.
During the winter, these vacant homes are an increased fire threat to the community and firefighters.
In the U.S., more than 15 million apartments and houses sit vacant. But vacant homes are more than deathly fire hazards – they’ve been linked to heightened rates of crime and community decline.
We discuss why these abandoned homes exist, what problems they cause, and what communities can do to reclaim some of these spaces.
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