Of the 1,349 homes and apartments in an area called Titusville, 504 were vacant during the first three months of this year. On street after street, boarded-up homes and overgrown yards line the road.
Of course, aside from property value considerations, the problem with a glut of abandoned homes is that it usually precedes a rise in crime.
Sterling said vacant homes quickly become a target for thieves who strip away wiring, plumbing, heaters and air conditioners, and drug users in search of shelter aren't far behind. Despite all the empty homes, the new Booker T. Washington Elementary School is being built just around the corner.
"That means those kids will have to stay in this environment," said Sterling, a house painter. "It doesn't make any sense."
And so the recession rambles on...