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Behind the numbers at the city's tax auction

   Buffalo's vacant housing crisis is getting worse, not better.

   The proof is in the 2,900 properties … believed to be a record high … that go up for sale today at the city's annual tax auction.

   The large number of available properties, some of them occupied, some of them vacant and abandoned, marks the second year in a row that the auction list exceeded 2,500 properties.

   Over the past eight years, the annual average is closer to 1,600.

   How many of these houses sell this week will determine how much this latest round of foreclosures impact the city's vacancy woes.

   The city, according to the Census, already has the third highest vacancy rate in the country with an estimated 18,000 vacant properties. Only Detroit and New Orleans are higher.

   How do you think this latest crop of foreclosures reflect on Buffalo?

   - Phil Fairbanks

   

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