New blight-removal trend lets people earn vacant property by mowing it

Residents in Memphis, Tennessee can soon own vacant city and county land adjoining their property, provided they mow it—a program that’s been cropping up in a handful of municipalities.

Noticing residents—fearful unkempt neighboring lots would hurt their own property value—mowing parcels, Columbus, Ohio, created its mow-to-own program in 2012.

Both programs also allow nonprofits to accrue “sweat equity” tending adjacent plots.

Rockford, Illinois, approved a mow-to-own program in March because more than 100 vacant lots were costing the city $40,000 annually to mow.

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