We need a Ying & Yang plan – right now we’re all Ying
by Jamie Moses - posted 8:20 am, July 28, 2010
This morning’s Buffalo News has an article about a “Vacancy Free zone”, a state grant for 20-block area west of Richmond to assist with rehabilitation of vacant homes. The area at one point included 115 vacant homes. That’s great and it will help the organization PUSH Buffalo stay on track to continue its rescue of abandoned properties. BUT there should also be grants for an “OCCUPANCY FREE ZONE”.
It’s a simple plan. If there are more empty houses than full houses on a stretch of city blocks then purchase the occupied homes and raze the entire area to land banking status. It would ease pressure on fire, sanitation, police and all kinds of other costly city services going to barely occupied streets. The city of Buffalo infrastructure was created to sustain at least a million people. We don’t even have 300,000 people living in the city limits. The city needs to contract to a size it can reasonably support. This would also help to create the urban density that makes cities what they are when those people bought out in the Occupancy Free zone relocate to a new neighborhood. AND the vacant homes in semi-occupied neighborhoods would have more potential tenants to turn that neighborhood into a Vacancy Free zone.