All Boarded UP - NY Times Magazine Article This problem is just now hitting the Caucasian Suburbs in St. Louis. I imagine its worse out win the boom and bust west and south. Besides controlling how fast homes can be built and fining banks any ideas how to solve the problem? A few boarded up houses on a street really lower property values. My first thought is when someone petitions the government to change zoning for a plot of land is changed from "farm" or low density residential to standard residential or commercial then a bond should be taken out which is enough to pay estimated demolition cost for the property xx years from now. Seems like a punitive tax, then again it would also slow urban sprawl.