Shivihah Smith’s East Baltimore neighborhood, where he lives with his mother and grandmother, is disappearing. The block one over is gone. A dozen rowhouses on an adjacent block were removed one afternoon last year. [...]
For the Smiths, the bulldozing of city blocks is a source of anguish. But for Baltimore, as for a number of American cities in the Northeast and Midwest that have lost big chunks of their population, it is increasingly regarded as a path to salvation. — nytimes.com
In light of yesterday's decision to allocate a chunk of the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase mortgage settlement to anti-blight measures across the country, I also recommend this NPR interview with Jim Rokakis, director of the Thriving Communities Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.
NPR host Melissa Block: "How much do you figure it cost to tear down a house?"
Jim Rokakis: "It's an average of about $10,000 a home. So in a state like Ohio where there's still around 85 to 90,000 vacant, abandoned, never-to-be-reoccupied houses, it's an 815, $900 million problem."