Vacant Property

WCDC supports the transition of vacant spaces into transformative opportunities.

Vacant Properties in Wilkinsburg

Over 18% of Wilkinsburg’s building stock is vacant, along with over 500 tax delinquent vacant lots. Rather than focus on the negative aspects of blight and vacancy, the WCDC works to support efforts to turn vacant spaces into opportunities to transform an empty lot to a vibrant garden, a blighted building to a growing business, and a vacant house to a home. We do this by highlighting available properties, connecting people with tools and resources, such as the Vacant Property Recovery Program, and sharing success stories.

How do you acquire vacant property in Wilkinsburg?

One of the biggest issues facing Wilkinsburg is vacant property and blight. Nearly 20 percent–close to 900 parcels–of Wilkinsburg’s houses and commercial buildings are vacant and/or blighted.

Though a major issue, vacant property also presents an opportunity to acquire a house or building for a very low cost. There are several tools and resources for acquiring vacant property. Still, the process of acquiring a vacant property can be a bit daunting, so the WCDC developed a downloadable how-to guide with flowchart and table of acquisition options to walk you through the process.

Getting started

The best way to start is to locate a vacant property or properties you are interested in by simply driving or walking around. Then, research the property on the Allegheny County Real Estate website.


Next Steps

What happens next depends. Not every process is a good fit for every property or every prospective buyer. Our download-able guide lays out all the ways in which you an acquire vacant property, but the three most common options are:

Negotiating a fair sale price with the current owner. This is the most direct path to an acquisition of vacant property. If the current owner is unresponsive, this option may not be feasible but outreach attempts should be documented.


Applying through the Vacant Property Recovery Program. This option is only possible if the property is vacant and tax delinquent for at least three years and the prospective buyer can demonstrate the capacity to complete the work.

Purchasing at a Sheriff’s Sale. If the property is not already listed for Sheriff’s Sale, there is an option to contract with the delinquent tax collector to have a property taken to sale. Check out our quick guide to the Sheriff Sale process.


If you need help on how to proceed or feel stuck on any step of the process, the WCDC can assist. We are available to answer questions, and can provide general assistance, due diligence and support. Email or call (412) 727-7855.

Links to various vacant property and housing related resources, and educational programming are available via our Resources and Education Page

Concerned about Vacant Property in your Neighborhood?

You can also be a part of the solution and work with us to address the issues of vacant property and blight in Wilkinsburg by joining our Strong Neighborhoods Committee. Learn more about committee work and how to get involved by visiting the Strong Neighborhoods Committee Webpage. 

Still have questions? That’s ok! We are here for you.

To inquire about vacant property or any of our other programs, please email, call us at (412) 727-7855 or click the contact button below.