In Indianapolis, there are an estimated 8,000 – 15,000 abandoned homes and other properties. In my own downtown neighborhood I can walk north and find empty properties or walk downtown and see vacant buildings.
It doesn’t take much of a rocket scientist to figure out that abandoned homes are magnets for crime. A 14-year old girl was raped near John Marshall School in an abandoned home.
What’s even more of a shame is the fact some activists citizens have placed a sign in front of an abandoned property at 97 N. Dearborn. And the city’s reaction is that the sign doesn’t meet zoning requirements and will have to come down. What about the abandoned property that facilitated the creation of the sign in the first place?
The sad part in all this is that the abandoned homes are symptomatic of a much bigger problem. The problem that too many people are getting homes who shouldn’t have them. There are too many people issuing out home loans who shouldn’t. The sub-prime mortgage scandal that is hitting this nation has far reaching repercussions and we are feeling the effects.
Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.