Center for Community Progress Awarded Brownfield Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grant
September 14, 2023
SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) is pleased to announce the receipt of a nearly $500,000 Brownfield Training, Research, and Technical Assistance Grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With this grant, Community Progress will advance cleanup and community-driven reuse of brownfield sites across the nation through land bank partnerships and support the implementation of land bank brownfield work.
“Community Progress is excited to help more local leaders understand how land banks can be a tool for reactivating brownfields,” said Kathleen J. Guillaume-Delemar, President & CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “Land banks have incredible power and untapped potential to address vacant and abandoned properties to further environmental justice for disinvested communities.”
“Brownfield” refers to property that is contaminated by a hazardous substance, making it difficult and costly to redevelop or reuse. Examples of brownfield properties may include abandoned factories, vacant lots with illegal dumping, and residential or commercial buildings built before 1978. Communities experiencing historic and continued disinvestment face significant challenges in reactivating brownfield properties because the costs to identify and remediate contamination typically outweigh the market value of these properties. Meanwhile, these sites often pose active health hazards to the community by leaching harmful chemicals into the soil or water, attracting illegal activity, stymieing equitable development, and damaging neighborhood vibrancy.
Land banks—public entities with unique powers to put vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties back to productive use according to community goals—have incredible potential to help communities tackle brownfield properties. A land bank’s primary purpose is to acquire properties that some call “blighted” and temporarily hold and take care of them until they can be transferred to new, responsible owners.
“In many municipalities, land banks have successfully addressed brownfield properties, resulting in new jobs, new community investments, and cleaner, healthier neighborhoods,” said Brian Larkin, Director of the National Land Bank Network, a program of Community Progress. “Land banks have a tremendous opportunity and power to take on these brownfield properties that no one else can or will, and return them to community-aligned reuse.”
As the national leader in the land banking movement, Community Progress has helped shape state-enabling land bank legislation, mapped the over 300 land banks and land banking programs across the country, trained hundreds of land bank leaders, provided technical assistance to land banks, and more. Over the next three and a half years, Community Progress will collect examples of land bank brownfield work, create an online resource center, and partner to deliver direct, customized technical assistance to communities looking to increase their land bank brownfield work.
About Community Progress: The Center for Community Progress helps people to transform vacant spaces into vibrant places. Since 2010, their team of experts has provided urban, suburban, and rural communities battling systemic vacancy with the policies, tools, and resources needed to address the full cycle of property revitalization. As the only national nonprofit dedicated to tackling vacant properties, Community Progress drives change by uncovering and disrupting the unjust, racist systems that perpetuate entrenched vacancy and property deterioration. Community Progress has delivered customized, expert guidance to leaders in over 300 communities and provided hundreds of hours of free educational resources as well as leadership programming to help policymakers, practitioners, and community members across the country return properties to productive use. To learn more and get help for your community, visit communityprogress.org.
About NLBN: The National Land Bank Network (NLBN) at the Center for Community Progress connects land bank leaders to the tools, networks, and resources they need to return vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties to productive use. As the first membership-based community of practice for the field of land banking, NLBN supports the over 300 land banks and land banking programs throughout the United States with in-person and online convening, research, technical assistance, and equity-focused education.
Recent Press Releases
Get the latest tools, resources, and educational opportunities to help you end systemic vacancy, delivered to your inbox.