Empty properties add no "life" to a neighborhood.
A significant number of vacant homes in a neighborhood attract crime and drive down the price of adjoining homes. They have no residents to support local businesses and government; they require more public safety dollars and community resources; and they make neighbors feel uneasy and unsafe. Most importantly, they drive down home prices for the entire neighborhood, igniting more forced sales and foreclosures. Once blight reaches a certain level, it's very difficult to turn around.