Vacant Buildings

The Vacant Building Program (VBP) was created with the goal to address the root causes of vacancy, increase public safety, and encourage economic development by spurring owners of vacant buildings to bring their properties back into productive use.

The program works to conserve our existing building stock through meeting the ordinance minimum maintenance requirements, annual inspection, registration process, and the promotion of redevelopment opportunities for registered buildings. Vacant and unoccupied buildings can be health and safety hazards that diminish the quality of life of a neighborhood and reduce surrounding property values.

Additionally, the provisions in Chapter 12 allow for the program staff to work with property owners to find long-term solutions to vacancy. In some cases we can offer property owners registration fee waiver and time extensions to register properties. Our goal is work with owners and community to convert vacant spaces into vibrant places.

Direct input and support was sought from the community, business stakeholders, and City Council in the creation of the program. That early support led to the program’s start as an 18-month pilot program in January 2015 with the adoption of Chapter 12 in the Code of Ordinances. With the passage of the FY2017 budget, the original 25 square mile program area was expanded to 112 square miles.

On September 21, 2023, the City of San Antonio City Council passed an ordinance amending Chapter 12 entitled “Vacant Buildings and Deconstruction” Article I, 12-1, and 12-2 (a) of the City Code of San Antonio. The amendment expands the boundaries of the Vacant Building Program to require property owners of vacant structures within 1,000 feet of a public or private school or state-licensed childcare facility to register with the City and to meet the requirements of Chapter 12.