Fixing Up After Tearing Down: The Impact of Demolitions on Residential Investment

Image credit: Cuyahoga Land Bank


Does the presence of blighted housing affect nearby property owner’s decision to maintain their units? Does demolishing these distressed houses increase maintenance investment? In this paper, I examine these questions by testing whether exposure to targeted demolitions of abandoned and distressed housing affects changes in the external condition of nearby houses. Using data from two waves of a property survey in Cleveland, OH, my models suggest that, compared to a control group of houses exposed to vacant housing, proximity to demolitions decrease the likelihood that a property’s condition deteriorated between 2015 and 2018 and increase the likelihood that it improved.

Jounral of Planning Education and Research
Daniel Kuhlmann
Daniel Kuhlmann
Assistant Professor of Planning and Real Estate