The message to neighborhoods couldn’t be clearer: It’s absolutely essential to attract and retain middle-class
homeowners with the resources to invest in—and maintain—their own homes, as well as support surrounding businesses.
About 18 months ago, I watched as the entire exterior of an expensive condo on the Central Canal—originally
built in 1996—was rebuilt. Among the issues: There was no building paper (Tyvek) under the siding, treated lumber wasn’t
used on the exposed porches, and neither was there any drainage.
I see Mayor Greg Ballard’s plan to demolish abandoned homes as a sign of failure, an acknowledgment
that our leaders—those whom we elected, business leaders, policy people, and leaders of not-for-profits—have failed
us, much in the same way leaders dramatically failed the auto companies, investment banks and mortgage companies.