The Vacant Home Tour (VHT) was founded in 2014 by students at Carnegie Mellon University, and has since found a home in Wilkinsburg. Wilkinsburg has the highest vacancy rate in Allegheny County. With nearly 800 vacant parcels in 2.3 square miles, the VHT aims to address this problem in a way no one — in our region or anywhere else in the world — has before.
Through storytelling, tour goers learn about Wilkinsburg and the people who lived and worked here by interacting with those that currently do. The properties featured on the tour have been blighted for years, decades even, but not always. People once cared for them. The circumstances that led to the homes’ vacancy is different, but the result is much the same. Blight negatively affects communities, not just because it’s dangerous, but because it can make residents feel hopeless.
In the Tools & Resource Workshops offered during the tour, residents or tour-goers can learn about the available programs to acquire and rehab vacant properties. In this way, the VHT empowers the community by giving them tools to fight blight in their neighborhood. Though workshops required RSVP, those interested in vacant property can visit the vendor area or seek help at the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation anytime throughout the year.
Our hope us that you learn something new about Wilkinsburg, that you learn useful tools to engage vacant property, and that, if you don’t already, you come to love this place as much as we and our tour guides and volunteers do. Wilkinsburg is Good All Over, and we’re excited to show you why.
With thanks & gratitude,
The Vacant Home Tour Team