Community Progress Calls on FHA to Improve Access to Rehab Mortgages

Vacant building under construction.

On April 17, 2023, the Center for Community Progress submitted a response to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)’s Request for Information (RFI) Regarding Rehabilitation Mortgages. A rehabilitation mortgage, often called a rehab mortgage, is designed to help homeowners improve their existing home or buy a home needing repair or renovation. You can read our full…

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Revitalizing Neighborhoods: How Creative Placemaking Transforms Vacant Properties into Vibrant Community Spaces

Public art on a reclaimed building: a creative placemaking project.

Creative placemaking is the practice of enhancing a neighborhood’s quality of life through arts, culture, and intentional community development. This practice can take many forms, like visual art installations, performance events, developing permanent brick-and-mortar spaces, and more. These creative approaches to addressing community challenges often include repurposing vacant properties.  What are the essential elements of…

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The Problem with Calling Neighborhoods with Vacant Properties “Blighted” 

What is blight? Defining the term many use to describe vacant properties

Picture a neighborhood with numerous run-down homes, vacant lots, and boarded-up buildings, grounds or structure overgrown with vegetation. What word comes to mind to describe those conditions?  For many, that word is “blight.”  Blight is a shorthand term many people use to refer to properties they perceive as problematic in some way: appearing unsafe, visually…

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