Approaches to Rural Property Vacancy in Law and Policy

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


A research publication jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

More than 10 years have passed since the Great Recession and the residential foreclosure crisis it unleashed. This crisis caused millions of Americans to lose their homes, leaving many neighborhoods with concentrated vacancy, disinvestment, and erosion of their local social fabric. In the aftermath of this crisis, researchers, practitioners, and organizations like the Center for Community Progress set to work analyzing vacancy interventions and shaping redevelopment strategies to stabilize neighborhoods.

Lessons from the Great Recession can help us assess and manage vacancy and abandonment in the uncertain times we now face in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and its eventual aftermath. The pandemic has thrown existing inequities—particularly racial inequities—into stark relief, striking Black and Brown communities hardest in terms of both the impact of the disease and a shattered economic footing. Making the recovery from COVID-19 inclusive and equitable will require community leaders to understand the strategies deployed to address the last crisis and their impacts.

Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts after the Great Recession is a new edited volume from the Center for Community Progress and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Cleveland that captures many of these efforts for practitioners, advocates, political leaders, and researchers looking to better understand the dynamics of vacancy and abandonment. It contains 12 articles by national experts in the field of neighborhood revitalization, including scholars from Georgia State University, the University of Michigan, the University of South Carolina School of Law, and the University of Utah, and practitioners from the Cuyahoga Land Bank, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Reinvestment Fund, Enterprise Community Partners, the National Community Stabilization Trust, and the Center for Community Progress.