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Razing Houses in Cleveland

Back in August of 2009 I suggested that the government should offer cash to burn down your house rather than take cars off the road in the cash for clunkers program.  It turns out that some communities have turned to demolition as a solution to the housing downturn:

“Gus Frangos runs the county land bank, created to put property back to productive use. But, 80 percent of the time, that first means demolition, $7,500 to level a place this size…

Land bank crews will pulverize 700 properties this year, the city of Cleveland, 1,000, to save sinking neighborhoods by eliminating the eyesores and, where possible, to put that land to economic use…

If you spend, say, $140,000 to bring back a house, all new mechanical systems, you’re going to sell it for maybe $90,000-$95,000. Unfortunately, demolition is much more cost-effective,  we have to do it.”

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

Read the article here.

And in Detroit the mayor has plans to destroy 10,000 houses by 2013 to deter crime:


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  1. Fu_mAn_Chu_chU says

    This is a bad idea. The property taxes on a property that was worth $100K but is in terrible condition is still taxed on $100K. Banks who hold foreclosed property taxes pay the taxes. Cleveland is facing a $30mil budget shortfall and the school district is facing a $20mil shortfall . . . so . . . now might not be the time to take homes off the property tax roll. Dangerous and extremely disgusting looking properties should be removed but the rate here is too quick.

    This is hurting other property owners because taxes will need to be raised to cover the shortfall and now the burden of the shortfall is shared across fewer property owners. I understand that the house next to you is a dump but to demolish it; are you willing to pay their taxes?



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