Demolitions an ugly reality for cities losing people

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 8.40.33 AMBy Brian J. Tumulty | USA TODAY

Mayors say demolishing abandoned homes is a policy of last resort. But for many cities around the country, it’s also a survival strategy.

“We’ve got a massive amount of new investment that is coming into the city, but vacant and abandoned buildings serve as a tremendous drag on all the other positive things you have going on,” Niagara Falls, N.Y., Mayor Paul Dyster said. “People who are potential investors, people who are potential residents, if they see a third of the buildings are abandoned, that’s the image they take back with them.”

Mayors from all over the country gathered in a hotel conference room this past week for a standing-room-only discussion on rehabbing and demolishing abandoned properties.

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