Mapping Uber Usage in Houston; Turning Out the Lights Downtown

allen parkway sunset

Photo of Allen Pkwy. sunset: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


4 Comment

  • I’d be very wary of the City owning blighted properties. Philadelphia city government owns an enormous number of blighted properties, they almost never fix them up, and they’re very bad about selling them even when they’re in desirable neighborhoods. Just not a proper role of government.

  • Same thing in New Orleans. The city’s blighted property program is an ineffectual nightmare. The rehab process is very susceptible to incompetence and corruption. Ideally the city should seize the properties and immediately unload them to renovation by private enterprise. But this is easier said than done. I find Mayor Parker’s expansion of government very troubling.

  • I actually really like the idea of having the City help demolish those buildings before they try to sell the land. What scares a lot of buyers away from these properties is that they would have to foot the cost of demolitions.
    I do wonder, however, if it’s really necessary for the City to actually do the demolitions itself. Why not identify the properties, and offer a credit to cover to the buyers to cover the cost of demolition – sort of like that $15k per unit credit hey give for apartments downtown. It’s be less work for the City, NAND just as effective if they do it right.

  • I like the idea behind removing red tape to get these properties taken care of. But, to be done “right” there needs to be involvement from the investor / developer community to shoulder the burden of repairs instead of the city. (Government waste and excessive spending practices do not lend themselves towards fiscally smart remodeling!) I’d love to see something along the lines of the Abandoned Housing Initiative in Massachusetts, with the CoH appointing private developers as Receivers. While the program in Mass is complicated by the need for leins and forclosure proceedings by the appointed Receiver, with the CoH’s program they would be the owners so that step is eliminated.
    Informarion about the Massachusetts program I am referring to:
    I think if done properly it will be a win-win-win. The CoH gets rid of a blight and an improved property generates additional tax income. The community wins with the removal of a potentially dangerous structure and the improvement boosts the surrounding property values. And, developers / investors win with the ability to get into a project for just the cost of the renovations. Upon sale have them refund the CoH the cost of expenses (listed in the CoH’s Strike Off Program slideshow page 2 as a first priority cost) and maybe even tack on a small percent of the profits from the sale going to the CoH.