I asked the question a few days back, “What’s do be done with the homes that aren’t worth fixing”? As many of us have joked about and postulated, the answer, “Level them to the ground” is being heard in Chandler, AZ. Chandler was part of Arizona’s building frenzy during the boom, and now is paying for it: [Thanks L!]
Some city-funded wrecking crews could soon be tearing down vacant Chandler houses.
But the owners would have to ask for the demolition and agree to pay one-fourth the cost according to a proposal by Mayor Jay Tibshraeny that will go to a council vote Thursday. Property owners also must be current on their taxes and agree to maintain the parcel afterwards.
Tibshraeny said officials are looking for homes that are no longer habitable. “Chandler is transitioning from a growth to a maintenance mode,” Tibshraeny said. “With the city contributing to the demolition of these structures that lead to slum and blight, this will be a very positive influence on the city’s ability to better sustain neighborhoods,” he said.
Bulldozing vacant homes is not uncommon in rust belt cities like Detroit, where the city has long been suffering from a population decline. It is however, relatively new to the Sun Belt, where it’s been assumed that perpetual growth would fill homes.
While this program is only for “uninhabitable” homes, many foreclosures have become just that. Angry homeowners who have lost their homes often make a point of thoroughly trashing the place on their way out.
There are thousands of vacant and vandalized homes throughout the Southwest. Look for other cities to follow suit.