Home » Press Releases » Eight Cities Selected to Tackle Blight and Vacancy at Community Progress Leadership Institute (Press Release)

Eight Cities Selected to Tackle Blight and Vacancy at Community Progress Leadership Institute (Press Release)

February 18, 2014

Charles Village _Let Ideas Compete_flickr_12.20.2010

FLINT, Mich. – Delegations from eight cities have been selected to attend the 2014 Community Progress Leadership Institute (CPLI), a training program focused on equipping leaders with the skills to address large inventories of blighted and vacant properties for the benefit of their communities. CPLI, a program of the national Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), will be held at Harvard Law School on March 18-21, 2014.

Delegations of up to seven people from each of the following cities will participate: Wilmington, Del.; Springfield, Mass.; Battle Creek, Mich.; Detroit, Mich.; Jackson, Miss.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Huntington, W.Va.; Milwaukee, Wis. Cities were chosen through an invitation-only, competitive application process.

The selected cities range in population from 50,000 to over half a million and have citywide vacancy rates of 10-29%, while also facing high rates of foreclosure, tax delinquency and other property challenges. The cities were selected for CPLI because they also demonstrate strong leadership and a commitment to developing new solutions for blight.

Community Progress Leadership Institute sessions will address how to prevent blight and vacancy and how to return vacant buildings and land to productive use. Some of the technical tools that will be explored are market analysis, reuse planning, delinquent tax enforcement reform, strategic code enforcement and land banking. In addition, Cambridge Leadership Associates will lead sessions on effective leadership.

“When these eight teams enter the CPLI classroom on the first day, their stories will illuminate how blight is impacting communities across the United States,” said Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “And when they head back home, there will be a new chapter to write: how they’re part of a national movement to reclaim our communities, a movement that is forging new connections and sparking fresh ideas.”

2014 marks the third time Community Progress has brought together a Community Progress Leadership Institute class since 2010. Past graduates of CPLI have worked with legislators and other stakeholders to draft, advocate for, and pass state and local laws; improved local code enforcement operations; held statewide leadership institutes; and developed new systems that enable cross-agency coordination on blight remediation.

About Center for Community Progress

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the only national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization solely dedicated to building a future in which entrenched, systemic blight no longer exists in American communities. The mission of Community Progress is to ensure that communities have the vision, knowledge, and systems to transform blighted, vacant, and other problem properties into assets supporting neighborhood vitality. As a national leader on solutions for blight and vacancy, Community Progress serves as the leading resource for local, state and federal policies and best practices that address the full cycle of property revitalization, from blight prevention, through the acquisition and maintenance of problem properties, to their productive reuse. Major support for Community Progress is provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Ford Foundation. More information is available at

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