Single-Family Subsidies Are Needed Outside Hot Markets

| ShelterForce

By Carey Shea

There isn’t a tax credit program available to spur investment in single-family residential neighborhoods, but an alliance of national real estate, housing, community development, lending, and construction organizations is working to change that.

Before Katrina’s wind and waves toppled New Orleans’ antiquated levee system in 2005, the city was already languishing under the burden of over 26,000 vacant properties. The levels of vacancy were so severe that the city hired the Center for Community Progress—a nonprofit that helps communities address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties—to perform a vacant property study and recommend anti-blight strategies for implementation. The presentation to Mayor Ray Nagin was scheduled for the first week of September. Katrina blew into town on Aug. 29, flooding more than 80,000 homes and ultimately adding about 20,000 vacant properties to the city’s tally.

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