Perspectives on vacant properties
State Rep. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, represents District 88, a wide area on the city's north side. She said many voters have approached her with concerns about how vacant and abandoned buildings affect their quality of life.
What consultants recommended and Oklahoma City seeks is local control to enforce residents' rights when derelict properties drain local resources and suppress property values, she said.
“It's about the property rights of the people in the neighborhoods,” she said. “Their property rights should matter, also.”
She noted the consultants' report prepared for Oklahoma City said 20 percent of abandoned and vacant buildings have out-of-state owners.
“They don't even live in our state,” she said. “This is really detrimental to the neighborhoods.”
It can be “virtually impossible” to sell a home on a block where one or more houses sit vacant and abandoned for years on end, said Georgie Rasco, executive director of the Neighborhood Alliance.
It's a disheartening situation for residents who see a negative impact on their home values and wonder why the city can't just tear down problem properties, she said.
Vacant homes decrease the value of homes around them, Rasco said, and their presence “decreases the desire to work hard to keep the neighborhood up.”
She senses the city has the political will to tackle the problem but it's “going to take some dollars. None of that happens for free.”
Shannon Rundell sold real estate starting in 1978, concentrating on the near-north side neighborhood where she lives.