As seen on The Wire or perhaps in an economically depressed urban neighborhood near you, one of the most problematic aspects of urban blight concerns abandoned buildings — structures who nobody owns because nobody wants to pay the taxes on them. They fall into disrepair, make the block look ugly, become havens for dubious activities or vermin, and it’s all generally a bad scene. And it now seems that some banks have decided they’d rather abandoned foreclosed properties in high-foreclosure areas rather than take on ownership (and tax obligations) of a property they won’t be able to sell.
One would expect to see the most of this sort of thing these days not in big cities, but in the sprawling exurban boomtowns where most of the truly excessive property building seems to have happened. It’s more evidence, in other words, for the Christopher Leinberger new suburban slum thesis.