Blog

Equitable Revitalization

Building Resilience: Leveraging Innovative Partnerships and Low Cost Capital to Meet Affordable Single-Family Housing Needs
Building Resilience: Leveraging Innovative Partnerships and Low Cost Capital to Meet Affordable Single-Family Housing Needs

This is an excerpt of Chapter 10 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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Land Banks and Community Land Trusts: Emerging Partners for a Resilient and Equitable Recovery
Land Banks and Community Land Trusts: Emerging Partners for a Resilient and Equitable Recovery

This is an excerpt of Chapter 9 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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Read President/CEO Dr. Akilah Watkins’ US House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee Affordable Housing Testimony
Read President/CEO Dr. Akilah Watkins’ US House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee Affordable Housing Testimony

On July 13, Community Progress CEO and President Dr. Akilah Watkins spoke before the The US House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee in a hearing called “Nowhere to Live: Profits, Disinvestment, and The American Housing Crisis.”  The hearing discussed factors driving up housing costs, the effects of these costs on low-…

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Lessons from 2022 VAD Academy
Lessons from 2022 VAD Academy

On June 15, more than 900 people joined us for the 2022 VAD Academy—a day-long virtual bootcamp for professionals and community partners whose work and communities are impacted by vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) property challenges. Throughout the day, experts from Community Progress led trainings on the causes of systemic…

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Developing and Implementing Property Remediation Strategies in Urban and Rural Communities in the Lehigh Valley: A Case Study of Bethlehem and Northampton County, Pennsylvania
Developing and Implementing Property Remediation Strategies in Urban and Rural Communities in the Lehigh Valley: A Case Study of Bethlehem and Northampton County, Pennsylvania

This is an excerpt of Chapter 6 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web. In…

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Does a Nonprofit “First Look” Program Promote Neighborhood Stabilization? Examining Outcomes for REO Sales in Florida
Does a Nonprofit “First Look” Program Promote Neighborhood Stabilization? Examining Outcomes for REO Sales in Florida

This is an excerpt of Chapter 5 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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The Battle of the Belts: Vacancy in the Sun Belt and Rust Belt Since the Great Recession
The Battle of the Belts: Vacancy in the Sun Belt and Rust Belt Since the Great Recession

This is an excerpt of Chapter 2 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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Where is the vacant property agenda?
Where is the vacant property agenda?

This is an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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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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A Pioneering Approach to Bring a Legacy of Quality, Affordable Housing to Communities
A Pioneering Approach to Bring a Legacy of Quality, Affordable Housing to Communities

Communities nationwide struggle with inventories of properties that are causing harm—properties that are vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD). Often these properties are concentrated in areas where an intentional history of racist policies resulted in disinvestment and denied homeownership for many Black families—a loss of wealth that has compounded across several generations.   The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these racial disparities and community…

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Answering Big Questions Following Tyler v. Hennepin County

Answering the most common and important questions we’ve heard about property tax foreclosure in the wake of Tyler v. Hennepin County.

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Explaining the Cycle of Systemic Vacancy

Systemic vacancy is the community experience of widespread property vacancy caused by the combined actions of people, policies, and processes.

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Lessons from 2023 VAD Academy: Systemic Racism is a Root Cause of Vacant Properties

The key lesson from this year’s VAD Academy: systemic racism is a root cause of vacant, abandoned, deteriorated properties.

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Community Progress Calls on FHA to Improve Access to Rehab Mortgages

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….

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How the Tri-COG Land Bank is Transforming Vacant Properties in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Representing Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the Tri-COG land bank has had enormous success in its first five years of operation.

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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

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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From Harm to Home: Replicating Detroit’s Make it Home Program

The City of Detroit’s innovative Make it Home program harnesses the power of the traditionally harmful property tax foreclosure process and uses it to increase affordable homeownership, improve housing conditions, and stabilize neighborhoods.  

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What does equitable code enforcement look like? How Louisville is taking steps to use its code enforcement process to advance racial equity

With technical assistance support from Community Progress, Louisville is reforming their housing and building code enforcement with equity in mind.

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Resident Engagement in Vacant Lot Greening: Empowering Communities for Neighborhood Revitalization

This is an excerpt of Chapter 11 of Tackling Vacancy and Abandonment: Strategies and Impacts After the Great Recession, jointly produced by the Center for Community Progress, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. It has been lightly edited and condensed for the web….

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