Straight Talk: Housing businesses

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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