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Five Finalist Communities Advance in Vacant Properties Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (Press Release)

January 9, 2017

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News Release (PDF)
National Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Albany, New York; Huntington, West Virginia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Memphis, Tennessee; and the Steel Rivers Council of Governments, Pennsylvania, are finalists in a competition to receive one of up to three technical assistance scholarships from the Center for Community Progress, a national nonprofit that helps communities revitalize vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.

As finalists, the five communities will receive no-cost site visits from national experts, as well as assessments of their current activities and systems to address vacant and abandoned properties. Assessments may evaluate some of the following systems, tools, or practices: parcel data systems and data management practices; code enforcement programs and strategies; land banks; tax enforcement and foreclosure laws and practices; and vacant land reuse strategies. Assessments will take place between January and March 2017.

From this pool of five, up to three of the finalists will be chosen as recipients of a full scholarship through the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program. The full scholarship consists of up to 400 hours of deeply subsidized technical assistance over the course of nine months in 2017 to help recipient communities break new ground in their efforts to address property vacancy and abandonment.

These five finalists were chosen through a competitive application process. Proposed projects are reviewed on a range of criteria, including the potential for innovation from which other cities can learn, demonstrated leadership to implement reform, overall scale of vacancy challenges and need for outside assistance.

“The five finalist communities reflect a wide range of sizes, geographies, and challenges, but all have proven that they are firmly dedicated to strengthening their community stabilization and revitalization work,” said Tamar Shapiro, president and CEO of the Center for Community Progress. “We look forward to working more closely with each through the site visits and assessments.”

The Center for Community Progress first launched the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program in 2014 in response to a need to make it easier for communities to experiment and innovate in their efforts to tackle vacant properties, and to do so in a way that is affordable and supports both the scholarship recipients and the national field of practice. Final reports produced through previous scholarship engagements are available at here. Grant funding from JPMorgan Chase supports the program.

More information about the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program is available on the Center for Community Progress website.

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 vacancy and abandonment no longer exists in American communities. The mission of Community Progress is to ensure that communities have the vision, knowledge, and systems to transform vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties into assets supporting neighborhood vitality. As a national leader on solutions for vacancy and abandonment, 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.

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