In its series on blight in Toledo, The Blade offered up such solutions as encouraging more downtown residential opportunities--wow, we've never tried that. Clueless.
If The Blade can come up with a list of solutions, we all might as well give it a try. Here are my suggestions:
1. Turn the blighted areas and known gang territories into police states. Assign a cop to every 4 blocks in the deteriorating neighborhoods. Arrest thugs for every reason you can come up with--jaywalking, littering, etc. Blight occurs because either the people who own the houses don't keep them up or the people who would keep them up have moved because they don't want to live among the crime and the losers who commit the crime. You have to make it uncomfortable enough for the thugs to motivate them to move out.
2. How do you afford to employ the needed police suggested in #1? Privatize all city and county services. When government workers' contracts expire, don't renew them. Hire private companies for everything. This eliminates many direct costs like health insurance, vacation/sick time, and retirement benefits.