Sean Cooney

Publication Date





The problem of vacancy and abandonment manifests itself in many different ways. Whether it is crime, decreasing property values, loss of tax revenue, neighborhood eyesores, or removing the condemned structures, the City of Buffalo is facing a monumental challenge both in resources and policy. The deconstruction of abandoned homes offers opportunities for cost savings, environmental benefits, and economic development. An alternative to demolition, deconstruction is the disassembling of buildings in order to salvage and reuse building materials. When used properly, the deconstruction of abandoned homes can be done at a significantly cheaper cost than demolition. Also, deconstruction can limit the amount of harmful air pollutants where the homes are removed in addition to reducing the amount of debris at landfills. Deconstruction is a labor intensive enterprise that creates jobs within the deconstruction crew as well as fosters small businesses selling the salvaged material. Moreover, deconstruction can provide opportunities for youths, job training, and other positive community development programming.