Before 2011, 5,000 square feet of land near Armory Park was abandoned. The owner was not paying property taxes and the plot was lead-ridden.
Since 2016, Providence has identified 860 similarly vacant and abandoned properties as of April 1, wrote Kevin Aherne, director of communications for Providence Planning and Development, in an email to The Herald. This number is up from November 2017, when there were 747 vacant and abandoned properties, according to a Community Conversation Presentation by Everyhome, a housing rehabilitation program.
The vacant and abandoned properties have been a problem for the city, primarily since the foreclosure bubble in the late 2000s. “Rhode Island, and Providence in particular, were identified as areas 'hardest hit' by the foreclosure crisis at the end of the last decade according to the U.S. Treasury,” Aherne wrote. “The mortgage foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s created an epidemic of vacant and abandoned properties throughout neighborhoods and cities across the United States.”