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True Costs Of Foreclosure, Property Abandonment Extend Across Neighborhoods And Communities

finance.yahoo.com | January 17, 2017

By Alicia Jones

CLEVELAND, Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking analysis of the true costs associated with the nation's housing crisis quantifies for the first time the substantial and numerous impacts foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties have on homeowners and their communities.

Even based on conservative estimates, the typical foreclosed home imposes costs of more than $170,000, according to a study commissioned by Community Blight Solutions and its Founder & Chairman, Robert Klein.

"This is the first paper that utilizes a variety of economic data and academic studies to evaluate the costs associated with foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties on people and their communities," Klein said. "I am proud of this effort and I hope that those people and organizations dedicated to fighting community blight use this analysis and data to improve our neighborhoods and reduce the costs associated with blight."

Of the $170,000 in costs imposed by each foreclosed home, approximately $85,000 is directly attributable to a property being vacant and the condition in which that vacant house is kept, according to the study, conducted by Aaron Klein, Former United States Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy (Aaron Klein is not related to Robert Klein.)

In his newly-released paper, Understanding the True Costs of Abandoned Properties: How Maintenance Can Make a Difference, Aaron Klein examines three main areas in which foreclosures and vacant and abandoned properties adversely impact homeowners and their communities: property values, crime and increased burden on city resources. Among the findings Aaron Klein cites:

  • The foreclosure of a home will cause a loss of value of at least $130,000 for the home and its neighborhood.
  • Over half the total cost of a foreclosure's impact on neighboring properties comes from the fact that the property is abandoned.
  • Vacant properties lead to increases in violent crime with substantial costs: $14,000 per vacant property per year in increased crime, translating into $795 million nationwide for all vacant properties.
  • The impact of vacancy on crime increases as the property stays vacant for longer periods, likely plateauing at between 12 and 18 months.
  • Vacant buildings are major fire hazards; vacant residential buildings account for one of every 14 residential building fires in America.

Fortunately, there are common sense, practical and affordable remedies that can help reduce the costs associated with vacancy and blight, Aaron Klein writes. He concludes that how well a vacant home is secured can have a substantial impact on the total costs associated with that status.

In a second study and paper to be released in February 2017, Klein will examine the problems associated with the decades-old practice of boarding vacant properties with plywood, which is easily vandalized, and compare it to superior methods such as polycarbonate or clearboarding, which resembles glass but is virtually unbreakable.

 

 

 

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