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2023 Roundup: Federal Policy Developments in Neighborhood Revitalization 
2023 Roundup: Federal Policy Developments in Neighborhood Revitalization 

Learn about FHA Improvements to the 203(k) Rehab Mortgage Program and other 2023 federal programs and policies in community revitalization you might have missed. 

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ARPA SLFRF Update: Interim Final Rule Expands Eligible Uses
ARPA SLFRF Update: Interim Final Rule Expands Eligible Uses

The ARPA SLFRF expanded eligible uses allow funds to be deployed to help address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties in new ways.

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The Problem with Calling Neighborhoods with Vacant Properties “Blighted” 
The Problem with Calling Neighborhoods with Vacant Properties “Blighted” 

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…

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How Vacant and Abandoned Buildings Affect the Community
How Vacant and Abandoned Buildings Affect the Community

Vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties—referred to by some as “blighted properties”—pose significant costs to public health, property values, local taxpayers, and more.

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Bay City Allocates $3 Million to Home Repair and Strategic Code Enforcement
Bay City Allocates $3 Million to Home Repair and Strategic Code Enforcement

Cities across the United States are receiving an unprecedented infusion of resources from the American Rescue Plan Act State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (ARPA SLFRF). Thanks to direct advocacy from Community Progress and our partners, the U.S. Treasury explicitly said communities can use ARPA SLFRF funds to address vacancy,…

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Treasury’s Final Rule Is Here; Here’s What You Should Know About Using ARPA Funds to Address Vacancy
Treasury’s Final Rule Is Here; Here’s What You Should Know About Using ARPA Funds to Address Vacancy

The long-awaited Final Rule on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) was released by the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday, January 6, 2022. It includes significant wins for communities hoping to address vacancy and abandonment in the wake of the pandemic. Since this…

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Communities Across the US Are Addressing Property Deterioration and Vacancy With ARPA
Communities Across the US Are Addressing Property Deterioration and Vacancy With ARPA

States, Tribes, counties, and municipalities around the country have been hard at work determining how to use their allocations from the American Rescue Plan Act’s $350 billion State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund – which we often clumsily abbreviate as the ARPA SLFRF.   Every unit of government should have already received at least the first…

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Community Progress Weighs in on $350 Billion ARPA State and Local Recovery Fund
Community Progress Weighs in on $350 Billion ARPA State and Local Recovery Fund

Center for Community Progress recently submitted a public comment letter in response to the Treasury Department’s Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) implementing the American Rescue Plan Act’s (“ARPA”) $350 billion State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (“SLFRF”). The public comment period is open through Friday, July 16, 2021, and public comments…

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Michigan Initiatives Quarterly Update: April – June 2021
Michigan Initiatives Quarterly Update: April – June 2021

This quarterly update from Community Progress’ Michigan Initiatives team highlights important revitalization news and resources from across the state. For specific inquiries or to share how your community is addressing vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties in Michigan, email Payton Heins, Director of Michigan Initiatives at [email protected].

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American Rescue Plan Act Update: Treasury Guidance and Fund Request Portal, and Our Updated ARPA Map Resource, Are Now Live!
American Rescue Plan Act Update: Treasury Guidance and Fund Request Portal, and Our Updated ARPA Map Resource, Are Now Live!

Important Update: Since publication of this blog on May 18, 2021, Treasury has released additional guidance with specific details for how non-entitlement unit of government allocations should be processed by States. This additional NEU guidance can be found at this Treasury webpage, along with other helpful information.  Center for Community Progress has been closely following…

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An Unprecedented Opportunity for COVID Relief and Equitable Neighborhood Transformation

While the US is gaining ground in its fight against COVID-19, many communities are facing growing threats to neighborhood stability from its economic fallout. Unprecedented help is on the horizon for these communities, which could provide a momentous opportunity to spur equitable revitalization.   Where we are today  While the national unemployment rate has been dropping, [1] it…

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Michigan Quarterly Update: January – March 2021

This quarterly update from Community Progress’ Michigan Initiatives team highlights important revitalization news and resources from across the state. For specific inquiries or to share how your community is addressing vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties, email Payton Heins, Director of Michigan Initiatives at [email protected]

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Local Leaders Need to Know: $360 Billion in State and Local Relief Is Coming to Every American Community

Almost exactly one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a massive relief plan has passed both chambers of Congress and been signed into law by President Biden. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is an historic achievement that will provide unprecedented resources to combat the health, economic, and racial…

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Filling the Gaps: Helping Struggling Property Owners Connect to Rehab and Repair Resources

Today, property owners – homeowners, landlords and businesses – feeling the active COVID-19 impacts are also bracing for a possible larger real estate market downturn and more unknowns. These influences, especially when combined with job loss or other challenges, leave many owners finding it difficult to invest in necessary maintenance…

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Community Development is Crucial in This Moment

Written by Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler on April 6, 2020 The pandemic is highlighting the crucial necessity of community developers’ work. Here’s what the field will need to play its part in the recovery. One month ago, when I began the first draft of this article, the world was drastically different….

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Download Alan Mallach’s “Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: Addressing the Aftermath Of The COVID-19 Pandemic In America’s Struggling Neighborhoods”

“We don’t know what will happen – there are far too many unknowns at this point – but we can already anticipate many of the risks, and what to expect after the pandemic is behind us.“ – Alan Mallach As the United States is gripped by the most severe pandemic…

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COVID-19 Impact on Michigan Communities: Risks, Interventions, Resources

There is no question. Michigan communities are encountering and will continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis.  As unemployment skyrockets, state and local revenue sources diminish, and public health costs soar, immediate action must be taken to preserve homes and businesses now and into…

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We Will Need Code Enforcement Now More Than Ever: Three COVID-19 Responses to Protect Neighborhoods

In the sea of COVID-19 uncertainty, there are a few neighborhood-level realities we know for sure. Our neighbor’s financial constraints may postpone planned repairs – like fixing that damaged roof that’s in danger of collapsing; the tenants in the 3-flat at the corner of the block could face eviction, due…

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Preventing Post-COVID-19 Vacancy: 6 Interventions Local Governments Should be Thinking About Now

We are still many months away from fully understanding the public health and economic fallout from COVID-19. However, history can provide some foresight into how this crisis may impact community stability and what actions local governments could examine now to mitigate these impacts. Discriminatory and unjust policies have exposed individuals…

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Tax Lien Sales are Not a Vital Tool for Recovery; People Are

We are in an unprecedented situation, and our concerns first and foremost should be about keeping people safe and, to the extent that it is the safest decision for that individual or family, in their homes. In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, it has been reassuring to see the…

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