Reversing disinvestment is topic of FutureHeights annual meeting

Harvey Garrett will be the keynote speaker at the FutureHeights annual meeting on March 20.

If increasing numbers of vacant homes and commercial structures indicate a downward spiral of disinvestment driven by market forces, is it possible for individuals to reverse the trend?  

FutureHeights examines this issue at its annual meeting, “Reversing Disinvestment in Our Community.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, at Grace Lutheran Church on Cedar Road, and is free and open to the public. Keynote speaker Harvey Garrett, founder and executive director of the West Side Community Collaborative in Buffalo, New York, will explain how, over 10 years, his organization transformed one of Buffalo’s most distressed neighborhoods into its fastest-growing real estate market.

“Tearing down a house or building is the ultimate disinvestment,” said Garrett, “yet this is exactly how many communities are dealing with the foreclosure crisis.” Garrett believes that vacant housing stock can be leveraged to increase property values and turn neighborhoods around through private investment.

In his talk, Garrett will show how Buffalo residents took back their city—block by block—without significant financial resources. Garret will describe how demolitions were halted, vacant houses were reclaimed, crime was significantly reduced, new businesses were started, and new buyers were attracted to the community—from both inside and out.

For more information and to RSVP, call 216-320-1423 or visit

Chris Hanson

Chris Hanson is a senior in the Urban Studies program at Cleveland State University, a consultant at The Urban Cash Cow, and an intern at FutureHeights.

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Volume 5, Issue 3, Posted 1:16 PM, 02.28.2012