Demolition by Neglect: Use It or Lose It


abandoned building in Buffalo

Yesterday we wrote "Nobody should be allowed to neglect a building until it falls down;. Use it or lose it." We also have complained before about demolition by neglect, and said there aughta be a law. Turns out, there is precedent for this; In London's borough of Islington, they have a "Use it or lose it" law. It's part of "a massive initiative to bring as many of these abandoned resources back into use."

Local Councillor Terry Stacey said: "Empty properties are ghastly eyesores, and attractive only to those intent on crime. All too often an empty property can become a haven for squatters, prostitutes or drug dens. This is a criminal waste - particularly when there is a national shortage of accommodation for people in housing need." If the council is unable to persuade the property owners to take pride in their properties, a dedicated officer has the power to force the landlord into a compulsory purchase or compulsory leasing scheme. ::Islington


RENE JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR This former rooming house at 1495 Queen St. W. caught fire in 1998 and was expropriated by the city last year.

In Toronto, according to the Star, A new group of housing activists wants the city to take over neglected and underutilized buildings and convert them into affordable housing.

"Buildings and spaces that are sitting around unused or extremely underutilized could be expropriated by the city and turned into affordable housing or community centres," said David Wachsmuth, a founding member of Abandonment Issues, "a Toronto-based coalition of housing activists fighting to get abandoned and underutilized buildings and spaces in the city turned into affordable housing." ::The Star

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