Exploring Equitable, Effective, and Efficient Solutions to Vacancy and Abandonment in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

A Community Progress Technical Assistance Report

Author(s): Center for Community Progress

The City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina requested technical assistance from the Center for Community Progress to help local officials and their partners better understand the systemic causes of and develop local solutions to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties. The focus of the engagement was to assess the systems and local practices related to VAD properties, including but not limited to data and information management systems and practices, housing and building code enforcement systems and practices, delinquent property tax enforcement systems and practices, and the acquisition and disposition of VAD properties

Together with partners at the University of North Carolina, Community Progress identified six key takeaways for the City and its partners to consider:

  • Prioritize equity, both as a foundational principle and as a desired outcome
  • Connect and coordinate the work, informed by common knowledge, shared goals, and a long-term strategic vision
  • Restore the vitality of housing markets and maximize impact by focusing and coordinating neighborhood investments
  • Engage and partner with the County in an intentional effort to optimize the tax enforcement system
  • Build capacity to steward VAD properties
  • Seize the moment and act now

This report offers preliminary findings of current conditions and challenges, as well as related recommendations that the City and its partners might consider as they move forward with their efforts to address the negative impacts of VAD properties in an equitable, effective, and efficient manner.

Madison Gharghoury, Development Associate and Special Assistant to the President/CEO

Published: November 2019


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