Monday, January 27, 2020

Vacancy Taxes: The Next Frontier In Housing Policy?

INTERVIEW: In Oakland, California, a collective of homeless mothers known as Moms 4 Housing recently occupied an abandoned property — highlighting a housing problem that's growing across the nation. According to the U.S. census report, a little over 12% of units in the U.S. were vacant in the third quarter of 2019. And an estimated 4,000 parcels are empty in Oakland, a city that’s also grappling with rising homelessness. One way to address the issue is a so-called vacancy tax, a new tool cities are implementing to ensure all available housing is used. But there’s little active data collected on the number of vacant units — and why no one is residing in them, according to Michael Lens, associate professor of urban planning and public policy at UCLA. Read More