Developing an equitable, effective, and efficient plan to address vacant, abandoned and deteriorated (VAD) properties requires knowing the true impact these properties have on communities, and most importantly, the people that call them home. Policies developed in the absence of close collaboration with the community and those most affected by these properties are at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Determining the role of residents and other stakeholders in developing a comprehensive strategy to address VAD properties is a critical first step to identifying equitable solutions.