The resultant effects of recession on vacancies and housing policies in major Sunbelt cities are regrettably devastating in the society. According to Alexander (p. 89) ad Fisher (p. 36) in their independent studies of the house vacancies in these major Sunbelt cities, they indicate that in most instances, housing values revolve around community stereotype and welfare. Consequently, the Sunbelt cities managers have a difficult job in ensuring that they adopt reliable policies, which are aimed at evading the vacancy problems. According to different studies, the house vacancies and depopulation in major Sunbelt cities have emerged due to the loss in house value and demand, which were instigated by the recession. Moreover, the increasing cases of house vacancies are associated with the decline in population in some regions or cities, which resulted from the movement of populations from these major Sunbelt cities. This literature review investigates the extent of the effects between recession and vacancy problem in Phoenix and other Sunbelt cities. Additionally, the literature review will investigate the most effective policies of dealing with depopulation and house vacancies in Phoenix City and other Sunbelt cities.
Land is an important community asset that should be used for the development and creation of stability in these communities. According to Alexander Frank, each parcel of land is a potential resource to the revitalization of the community, and that, land which is used in a manner, which is consistent with the strategic growth plan of the community, either as a retail facility, residence, or open public parks stabilizes the community for further development. Additionally, while recognizing the role that power and politics have played a critical role in forecasting uneven development that indicate that urban patterns are controllable and not inevitable, Shlay describes the collaboration in Philadelphia between a university policy research centre and a citywide faith-based coalition. She found out that the policy agenda in Philadelphia ensured that blight policy broadened to be inclusive of money for neighborhood acquisition, stabilization, and improvements as opposed to solely demolition according to the original proposition (Portman & Jonathan). These efforts were aimed at improving the productivity of land.
In the past most of the Sunbelt cities were highly populated. However, following the recession, most people fled their homes and left the houses vacant, therefore the increased housing vacancies in these cities (Wilson, P. 502). Sternlieb and Hughes assert that people usually desert their homes due to circumstances such as immediacies of current cash flows as well as negative expectations of future value (p. 321). This indicates the reason why most people in these major Sunbelt cities abandoned their homes in search of better conditions. The house vacancies witnessed in these major Sunbelt cities have led to devastating effects to the city managers and authorities since they are losing finances that they would have otherwise collected from occupied houses.
There have been different propositions to solving the house vacancies experienced in Phoenix and other major Sunbelt cities. Phoenix and other Sunbelt cities have formulated various mechanisms that aim at dealing with the challenge of recession and house vacancies (Wachsmuth 21). The most resounding proposition is the policy formulation and implementation for affordable housing in these cities. According to Sharoff (p. 67) & Hillier and Smith (p. 29), Phoenix city management should come up with proper initiatives that would assist the housing industry to attract a huge number of emerging business executives. This is as a response to the advancement of the competitive advantage of the city over other emerging cities and towns. Burchell also proposes that the reduction of the costs of starting a business in the city and government incentive to new investors will be the essence of attracting business owners into the city (p. 70).
Increasing the number of city residents will also be an incentive aimed at increasing the population and therefore reducing the vacant houses. This can be realized through adopting policies aimed at increasing job opportunities in the city, which will increase the number of people coming into the city to seek jobs. For instance, the defence dependant-firms that produce high-tech military weapons have created more job opportunities in the city (Hulchanksi 79). The youth are very crucial in the society. Creating jobs for the youth in the city will ensure that a higher portion of the population come into the city. The youth also comprise several professionals and business experts, who are potential investors and can work to the advantage of the city (Bailey 18 & Sternlieb and Hughes 21). Creating industries will also solve the unemployment problem in the city through creation of job opportunities (Brigham, p. 79), which also increases the revenue of the city as well as easing the process of renovation of the infrastructure in the city. Consequently, improved infrastructure will also invite potential investors into the city. . Although the Phoenix city is located in Sunbelt regions, the investment on new defence dependent-firms has been helpful in advancing the city’s popularity (Wilson 510). Improving social amenities such as schools, hospitals, and local authorities among several other amenities will also invite foreign investors, which will increase the flow of population into the city (Shlay 153 and slington Council 42).
The major issue facing the housing vacancies in Phoenix and other Sunbelt cities is the issue of reducing population, which was supposedly caused by the recession, which sent people out of their homes and the city. In the event of finding solutions to the problem of the housing vacancies in these cities, increasing the city’s populations is the major challenge that needs to be addressed beforehand. It is a fact that increasing the population in the cities will ensure that most people will be seeking accommodation in the city, thereby reducing the number of vacant houses. Policy formulation will ensure that the number of people coming into the city as either investors or employees will increase. Improving social and physical infrastructure in Phoenix and other major Sunbelt cities will invite more investors. Increasing investments will therefore increase the job opportunities for the locals and invite other job seekers from other cities. This will increase the bargaining power of the residents and their demand for houses, thereby reducing the number of vacant houses.
Alexander, Frank. Renewing Public Assets for Community Development. Washington, D.C.: Local Initiatives Support Corporation, 2000.print
Weinstein, Bernard and Robert E. Firestine. Regional growth and decline in the United States: the rise of the Sunbelt and the decline of the Northeast. New York, NY: Praeger Publishers. 1999. Print
Arigoni, Danielle. Affordable Housing and Smart Growth—Making the Connection. Washington, D.C.: Smart Growth Network Subgroup on Affordable Housing, 2001. Print
Hollander, Justin. Sunburnt Cities: The Great Recession, Depopulation, and Urban Planning in the American Sunbelt”, London: Taylor & Francis. 2011. Print
Bailey, Ruby. The D is a draw: Most suburbanites are repeat visitors. New York, NY: Detroit Free Press. 2012. Print
Brigham, Gordon. Law in Politics: Struggles over Property and Public Space on New York City’s Lower East Side. Law & Social Inquiry vol. 21, no. 29 (2009), 265-283.
Burchell, Listoken. The Adaptive Reuse Handbook: Procedures to Inventory, Control, Manage, and Reemploy Surplus Municipal Properties. New Brunswick, NJ: Centre for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University. 2007. Print
Fisher, Dale. Building Michigan: A Tribute to Michigan's Construction Industry. Grass Lake, MI: Eyry of the Eagle Publishing. 2003. Print
Ford, Larry. America's New Downtowns: Revitalization or Reinvention. London: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2003. Print
Greenberg, Michael. Restoring America's Neighbourhoods: How local people make a difference. New York, NY: Rutgers University Press, 2009.Print
Hillier, Culhane, and Smith, Tomlin. Predicting Housing Abandonment with the Philadelphia Neighbourhoods Information System, Journal of Urban Affairs, vol. 25, no. 1 (2003), 91-106
Hulchanksi, Shapcott.. Introduction: Finding Room in Canada’s Housing System for AllCanadians. In Finding Room: Policy Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy, eds. J. D. Hulchanski and M. Shapcott, 3- 12. Toronto: CUCS Press. 2004. Print
Juran, Joseph and Godfrey, Blanton. Juran's Quality Handbook. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill, 2012.Print
Portman, John and Jonathan Barnett. The Architect as Developer. London: McGraw Hill, 2009. Print
Sharoff, Robert. American City: Phoenix Architecture. Wayne: Wayne State University Press.2012. Print
Shlay, Whitman. Research for Democracy: Linking Community Organizing and Research to Leverage Blight Policy. City & Community, vol.5, no. 1, (2002): 153-171
Slington Council. Empty Property Strategy, 2007-2010. London: Islington, 2005. Print
Sternlieb, Burchell, and Hughes, James, Housing Abandonment in the Urban Core. Journal of the American Institute of Planner, Vol.40, No. 5(2005), 321-332.
Tabachnick, Fidell, Using Multivariate Statistics, Fifth Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc, 2009. Print
Wachsmuth, Pasternak. Use it or Lose It: Toronto’s“Abandonment Issues” Campaign for Affordable Housing. Critical Planning vol. 15, no. 1(2008), 6-21
Wilson, Margulis. Spatial aspects of housing abandonment in the 1990s: The Cleveland experience, Housing Studies, Vol.9, No,1. (2004), 493-510.