More than 7,000 abandoned structures dot St. Louis, according to estimates, presenting a problem bigger than the city can handle on its own.
The city is working toward formalizing a “vacancy advisory committee,” in partnership with legal clinics, community development organizations and neighborhood nonprofits.
Several organizations involved in the effort have recently added staff or funding.
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has hired Peter Hoffman to lead its new Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative. Previously, Hoffman led a nonprofit clinic that helped neighborhood groups address vacant properties in Kansas City.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has called for an increase in the city’s budget for demolition of abandoned properties. St. Louis’ Metropolitan Sewer District is funding some tear-downs to create green space to absorb rainfall.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch