The situation in the housing market gives municipalities impetus to update their land use zoning rules. More homes are sitting vacant today than in years. Housing activity is at a standstill because many people can’t come up with the high down payments that most mortgages now require, and they don’t want to sell their current home at a depressed price. Yet, vacant homes are a liability, setting the stage for vandalism and other consequences of blight. Cities could put more homes to good use if they would soften the distinctions between land zoned for residential . . .
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