The map below shows how Vacancies have increased across Virginia over the past decade. Everyone knows about the foreclosure crisis so it isn’t shocking to see that vacancies have increased. However, this map shows something very important: vacancies have increased almost uniformly across the entire Commonwealth. In other words, vacancies are no longer just an urban problem, it is going to be a serious issue for rural localities as well.
The housing industry, policy makers and the community development community should all start planning for how Virginia will deal with vacancies and blight as a statewide problem. Every challenge is an opportunity and the map below shows that Virginia can no longer afford to think of vacancies and blight as just an “urban” problem.