Three communities selected for the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program

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Community Progress launched the competitive Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP) in 2014, to help us find and support today’s pioneers in the work to reclaim and revitalize problem properties. TASP seeks out “changemakers” who are ready to effect positive change on the ground and shape the national field of practice.

Today, we’re pleased to announce the three communities chosen as recipients of the third round of TASP:

Cleveland, Ohio
Lucas County, Ohio
St. Louis, Missouri

Cleveland, Lucas County, and St. Louis were chosen based on a range of criteria, including the potential for innovation that other cities can learn from, demonstrated leadership to implement reform and the overall scale of vacancy challenges as well as need for outside assistance.

“We couldn’t be more excited to begin work in Cleveland, Lucas County and St. Louis,” said Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “Each of these places demonstrates that they are willing and ready to pioneer new approaches to vacancy that other cities can learn from. We see huge potential for positive reforms that will benefit community residents.”

Each city will receive assistance from a team of national experts over six months between October 2015 and March 2016. Grant funding from JPMorgan Chase provides the majority of the program’s support.

“There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to addressing blight. It requires an innovative and customized approach to find the best path to recovery,” said Janis Bowdler, Head of Community Development for Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “That’s why JPMorgan Chase is pleased to support the Center for Community Progress as they provide advice and assistance to help these cities develop customized plans to stabilize and revitalize their neighborhoods.”

Credit: Sam Bobko

Credit: Sam Bobko

Cleveland, Ohio
In Cleveland, work will focus primarily on the development of a framework for evaluating the economic impact of vacant land greening programs, as well as an assessment of opportunities to streamline and coordinate vacant land greening efforts. Read More >>

Credit: Scott Stults

Credit: Scott Stults

Lucas County, Ohio
In Lucas County, technical assistance will focus on the Junction Avenue neighborhood in the City of Toledo, an area hit hard by vacancy. This work will focus on inventorying and prioritizing potential reuse options for vacant land parcels and developing a framework for the long-term ownership of and funding for those parcels. Read More >>

Credit: Imagenusphoto

Credit: Imagenusphoto

St. Louis, Missouri
In St. Louis, technical assistance will focus on evaluating the property tax foreclosure process for the City of St. Louis. It will analyze the adequacy of existing systems for enforcing delinquent property taxes, as well how to improve the processes through which the local land bank acquires properties. Read More >>