Julia New York

Repurposing Abandoned Buildings

Blighted buildings need to be repurposed to help with the economy and create a healthier environment. Not too many people take care of abandoned structures, but if they did, our economy would flourish.

Dear President,

There are copious amounts of blighted buildings within the United States. Buildings that were abandoned and are not being cared for--not by the city, nor the owners. Instead they are wasting taxpayers money by demolishing these buildings. These structures are becoming ruins when they have the ability to be repurposed.

Repurposing dwelling buildings has a lot of positive causes and effects. Some being that by repurposing large abandoned structures can lead to the making of apartment buildings. Apartment buildings would give residents more options to live and make the city's population grow. Revising old shops can create more jobs within the area. Revising houses and large buildings will create a happier and safer living environment with high value lots. These lots would become high value if they look well built and inviting. There would be a high demand for clean-cut houses, making the city wealthier with lot values. East Pittsburgh greened an abandoned lot and made it into a playground. Children use it quite frequently and now it's no longer an eyesore or safety hazard. Creating new things out of blighted buildings/lots leads to good and useful environments.

In every city in the United States, the city itself is in main control of these buildings, besides the homeowners. Meaning mayors, judges, and other officials. According to "Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets," “Vacant and abandoned properties have long plagued the industrial cities of America’s Rust Belt.” Meaning that abandoned buildings add to the rust and filth that lies within the United States. The cities deal with the complaints of neighbors and do all the paperwork. Blighted buildings are a burden and eyesore for everyone, but they are especially a nuisance for the sheriffs, judges, and bankruptcy trustees. These officials don’t see the building as buildings. They see them as paperwork. The easiest thing for them to do would be to raise tax for demolitions, even though that's not a reasonable solutions. “The legal system for debt collection and property taxation does paperwork controlling legal interests in abandoned housing without visualizing the harmful condition and real value of the houses,” says Kermit J. Lind from the article "Perspectives on Abandoned Houses in a Time of Dystopia." Meaning that officials are not paying attention to the real concern about these buildings, instead they are concerned with the legal liabilities and paperwork that goes along with it. Although a reasonable solution would be to allow architects and interior designers to repurpose them.

It seems strange, but this is where you, Mr. President, come in. If you were to issue a program, or deal, to lower demolition rates, it would have positive effects for many American citizens. You could provide federal money to cities who could, in turn, create programs that would remedy this problem. This would be incredibly helpful in creating safe and inviting cities--cities that people would actually want to live in in the United States. Demolishing such buildings is just destruction for so many different categories. Repurposing decrepit, abandoned buildings, instead of demolishing them, needs to be a priority.