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Vacant Homes: The New Subprime Scandal

Per my earlier post explaining the growing crisis of vacant homes piling up around the country, here’s one of the best explanations for why we should be alarmed by this problem, courtesy of The Chicago Tribune:

“It’s a concern for the same reason the subprime lending problem should have been a concern five years ago,” said Geoff Smith, vice president at the Woodstock Institute. “There are certain communities that are more at risk, but if it goes unchecked … it has the potential to spiral and affect all parts of the economy.”

It’s certainly gone unchecked so far.

On stretches of Chicago’s North Side, they call some neighborhoods “condo ghost towns” now, because so many of those new developments are vacant. Neighborhoods that used to be considered trendy and on the way up are headed in reverse, blighted by vacancies and decline. This isn’t going away anytime soon. Washington may not see it yet, but people who live there are well aware that it’s going to take a very long time to rebound from this mess.

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