St. Louis struggles with disinvestment, aging housing stock, and 25,000+ vacant properties that disproportionately harm the health and safety of communities of color. Hester Street supported the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative in creating a stakeholder engagement process with city staff and community leaders to understand and map the code enforcement process in the city of St. Louis, particularly focused on vacant lots.

This process mapping sought to identify how code enforcement practices and housing policies and services could be more strategic to equitably prevent and address vacancy. The process map was the basis for a set of policy recommendations for the St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative, the City of St. Louis and community groups. Additionally, Hester Street supported the Collaborative with designing a citywide community engagement strategy to be implemented as a Phase 2 of the project.