Spatial Aspects of Housing Abandonment in the 1990s: The Cleveland Experience

David Wilson, Harry Margulis, James Ketchum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Housing abandonment continues to ravage US cities, despite a recent waning of scholarly interest in this topic. Our paper revisits this topic by examining recent patterns of housing abandonment in a prototypical rust belt city, Cleveland. We assess the evolving pattern of abandoned units between 1980 and 1990 and its ecological (housing and population) correlates. The results suggest that housing abandonment in Cleveland has spread in a contagious fashion beyond a dilapidated core. A diversity of neighbourhood types—owner occupied moderate income, Asian occupied, low-income black, and newly arrived high unemployment—have recently been plagued by this phenomenon. We call for more study on this important topic and offer preliminary policy recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-510
Number of pages18
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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