Community Progress regularly posts to this blog on a range of related topics to help communities across the country turn vacant spaces into vibrant places. Please check back regularly, and sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest news directly in your inbox.
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-…

Read More...
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,…

Read More...
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 pheins@communityprogress.org.

Read More...
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…

Read More...
An Unprecedented Opportunity for COVID Relief and Equitable Neighborhood Transformation
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…

Read More...
Michigan Quarterly Update: January – March 2021
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 pheins@communityprogress.net

Read More...
Land Bank and Land Trust Leaders Express Support for Proposed $5 Billion to Revitalize Communities
Land Bank and Land Trust Leaders Express Support for Proposed $5 Billion to Revitalize Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 4, 2021 — Today, the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) and Grounded Solutions Network (Grounded Solutions) expressed their support of new legislation that would invest $5 billion in flexible federal funding for distressed communities nationwide. The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act was introduced in the House of…

Read More...
Download America’s Vacant Lot Landscape: Insights from the National Survey on Greening
Download America’s Vacant Lot Landscape: Insights from the National Survey on Greening

How are vacant lots evolving in the United States? What strategies do professionals consider most effective at returning purpose to these properties? What have practitioners learned in the last several years that other municipalities and organizations can benefit from? And what do organizations still need to do this work effectively? 

Read More...
Community Development is Crucial in This Moment
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….

Read More...
COVID-19 Impact on Michigan Communities: Risks, Interventions, Resources
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…

Read More...
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-…

Read More...
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,…

Read More...
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 pheins@communityprogress.org.

Read More...
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…

Read More...
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…

Read More...
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 pheins@communityprogress.net

Read More...
Land Bank and Land Trust Leaders Express Support for Proposed $5 Billion to Revitalize Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 4, 2021 — Today, the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) and Grounded Solutions Network (Grounded Solutions) expressed their support of new legislation that would invest $5 billion in flexible federal funding for distressed communities nationwide. The Restoring Communities Left Behind Act was introduced in the House of…

Read More...
Download America’s Vacant Lot Landscape: Insights from the National Survey on Greening

How are vacant lots evolving in the United States? What strategies do professionals consider most effective at returning purpose to these properties? What have practitioners learned in the last several years that other municipalities and organizations can benefit from? And what do organizations still need to do this work effectively? 

Read More...
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….

Read More...
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…

Read More...