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Community Progress Announces Upcoming Webinars Focused on Preventing Post-COVID-19 Vacancy

April 20, 2020

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

Over the last 30-days we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis forever change the fabric of this country. The lives of millions of Americans have been impacted and the need for equity will grow exponentially.  As communities are grappling with the immediate health, social, and economic impacts of this unprecedented pandemic, municipal leaders are trying to make sense of the scale of the challenges that lie ahead and prepare for the long road to recovery. While it will take a significant amount of time to fully understand the economic impact from COVID-19, the lessons learned from the 2008 Financial Crisis may provide some insight to help local governments prevent or mitigate the destabilizing community impacts.

In response, Community Progress announces a series of Cornerstone webinars to assist local governments in advancing strategies and policy framework to support a more equitable and resilient vision for their communities, one that can help in the recovery from COVID-19 and guard against a future crisis.

Starting Thursday, April 23, Community Progress will offer bi-weekly webinars from 12:00-1:00 pm ET focused on updates and perspectives to help drive revitalization and equip communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planned topics for the Cornerstone Webinars COVID-19 Series include:

For questions about Cornerstone webinars, please contact Justin Godard at [email protected].

COVID-19 Cornerstone Webinar Descriptions

After the COVID-19 Emergency: What’s Next for Middle Neighborhoods?

Photo Credit: Ian Freimuth

Thursday, April 23, 2020 12:00 pm ET | Watch the Recording!

Today’s active Coronavirus (COVID-19) struggle for American communities has many leaders and residents asking, “What’s Next?” We know our current, immediate danger will not last forever, but what are the long-term economic and social impacts? What unique challenges will middle neighborhoods face? And, what insights and expertise are best positioned to help build a more equitable future for these communities?

Explore these questions as Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow at Community Progress and author of The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America, walks participants through the anticipated COVID-19 impacts and considerations for community development practitioners, middle neighborhoods, and the residents they serve.

Presenter: Alan Mallach – Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress

Federal Policy Update in Response to COVID-19

Photo Credit: dmbosstone, flickr

Thursday, May 7, 2020 12:00 pm ET | Watch the Recording!

Local governments are faced with keeping their residents safe, while also keeping up with the ever-changing policy developments at all levels of government. From pursuing aggressive, proactive steps to stem the spread of the virus to exploring ways to prevent or mitigate the destabilizing impacts, we recognize that communities across the country are experiencing this crisis on very different timelines.

This webinar is meant to keep local stakeholders informed and engaged on the most recent developments coming from the federal government. Rob Finn, Director of Policy and Research, will offer insights into how federal policy may impact housing insecurity and neighborhood stability. The passage of the CARES Act; and the historic levels of relief and economic stimulus for individuals, small businesses, and state and local governments; provides important protections and funding streams to keep families in their homes and stabilize neighborhoods. With the CARES Act and additional legislative proposals, we anticipate the need of local governments to understand the implications to community stability and future revitalization.

Presenter: Rob Finn – Director of Policy and Research, Center for Community Progress

Strategic Code Enforcement: A Critical Tool for Supporting COVID-19 Neighborhood Response

Photo Credit: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:00 pm ET | Watch the Recording! 

Despite the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on local government budgets across the country, it is imperative—to the extent possible—that we recognize, protect, and invest in the public systems critical to long term recovery efforts; systems like housing and building code enforcement. A successful code enforcement system plays an important role in supporting the maintenance of safe and healthy housing, identifying and mitigating the impact of problem properties on residents and neighborhoods, and connecting enforcement efforts to productive property reuse opportunities.

Moving forward, we can expect to see staggering numbers of residential and commercial property owners struggle to keep up with property tax and mortgage payments, as well as tenants unable to come up with the rent. These realities could put basic property maintenance and investments on the backburner and could lead to an increase in vacant and abounded properties – likely disproportionally impacting our most vulnerable neighborhoods With diminished resources to address these challenges, code enforcement operations will need to be strategically deployed in a way that is effective, efficient and equitable.

Attend this webinar to learn more about the importance of strategic code enforcement, including:

  • The role code enforcement can play in connecting those in need to available resources;
  • Strategies for more proactive enforcement;
  • Critical code enforcement tools including nuisance abatement, receivership, and rental registration and inspection;
  • The importance of connecting code enforcement to broader neighborhood stabilization and revitalization efforts.

Presenter: Matt Kreis – General Counsel, Center for Community Progress

Land Banks, Land Banking Programs, and COVID-19: Strategic Considerations for a Long-Term, Equitable Recovery

 Thursday, June 11, 2020 12:00 pm ET | Watch the Recording!

Declines in local revenue, increases in tax foreclosures, real estate market disruptions, and the growing potential for problem properties—the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis will likely extend for years to come. Residents, governments, and nonprofits can start to plan now for the most equitable and effective approaches to property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration across a range of markets in rural, urban, and suburban communities.

Attend this webinar to learn how land banks—a proven tool for stabilizing neighborhoods, meeting community needs, and supporting equitable development—can play a vital role in community recovery.

Join land banking expert, Kim Graziani, for an in-depth session on:

  • the basic principles of successful land banks, land banking programs, and the critical differences between these two approaches
  • how land banks need to be integrated and aligned with local property tax enforcement systems, and
  • applying the lessons learned over the last ten years of land banks and land banking programs in the wake of the mortgage foreclosure crisis to design and implement a long-term, equitable recovery from COVID-19

Presenter:  Kim Graziani – Vice President and Director of National Technical Assistance, Center for Community Progress

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