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Elizabeth Benton

Senior Counsel

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Libby Benton is the Senior Counsel to National Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress. As a sharp thinker with outstanding legal acumen, she works with the national technical assistance team to help local leaders develop equitable, efficient, and effective strategies to prevent and address vacant properties.

Benton has extensive expertise in the key legal systems that touch vacant, deteriorated properties, including housing and building code enforcement, delinquent property tax assessment, and land banking. Drawing on her decade of experience representing tenants and low-income homeowners, she also brings a strong perspective on how policies impact the people living in the communities we serve, with a strong focus on racial and economic justice. Her work has included helping communities like Louisville, Kentucky and Decatur, Illinois craft more equitable housing and building code enforcement systems.

Benton is passionate about helping communities achieve systemic change to protect their residents. In 2020, she served as principal investigator of a research project aimed at better understanding the prevalence, patterns, and causes of evictions in Michigan. She co-authored the first comprehensive report on Michigan evictions, a journal article analyzing the characteristics of evictions in urban and rural places, and a report analyzing Michigan evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and recommending reforms to reduce Michigan evictions going forward.

Benton received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.