8/02/2006

Sounds of Vacancy

Like the cancer of Simon and Garfunkel's metastasizing silence, vacancy is growing. Cheektowaga, NY is now infected with the same "urban cancer" that has hollowed out entire neighborhoods of Buffalo's East Side. Here's yesterday's Buffalo News cover story, archived in case you missed it. Strange how the 367 vacant houses are concentrated in the western part of the town, the part closest to the dying patient - Buffalo's East Side...

Of course the cost of vacancy in Cheektowaga is not measured in terms of what the town spends in lawn mowing and board-ups. The real cost, which isn't mentioned is lost tax revenue to the town and declining property values for homeowners living next door. Here on the City's East Side the spiral of declining property values is so pervasive that property has taken on a negative value. Houses are no longer assets, they're liabilities. In many cases houses can not even be given away. Then again, cancer is free and nobody wants that either.

Strange...the last sentence of yesterday's BN article - "They may be taken care of...but are vacant." While I've identified a number of houses here in my little corner of Masten, that I've determined present public health risk - here's the map - there are dozens more that look occupied, because a neighbor mows the lawn and shovels the sidewalk in the winter - but no one's been home for a very long time...

Check out this archive - Broken Promises... - for additional information about abandonment and vacancy. Michael Clarke and the good guys at LISC are involved with the National Vacant Properties Campaign. More about their study and policy recommendations, soon...

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Artspace ArchiveAnnals of NeglectBAVPAWhere is Perrysburg?Broken Promises...
Writing the CityWoodlawn Row HousesTour dé Neglect - 2006

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too bad the people of Cedargrove Heights fought off the ambitious plans to redevelop that area, That could have been a step at reversing the decline of Cheektowaga.

fix buffalo said...

do tell...

Last time I checked Cedargrove was nowhere close to West-Cheektowaga. Did it move? Please share...

DennyK said...

There's Buffalo, then the cemeteries, then Cedargrove. If it got any more Western, it would be in Buffalo. I guess the article refers to a particular part of Chk., but Cedargrove IS on that side of the Town.