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

The Resident’s Workbook

for Dealing with Vacant Buildings and Lots

Published: October 2023


Author(s): Center for Community Progress

If you’re picking up this workbook, chances are you’ve noticed vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties in your community. You want to do something about them, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve been calling 311 on the same abandoned property for years, to no avail. Or maybe you’ve been mowing the vacant lot next door and you want to do more. But how?

Doing something about vacant buildings is hard because of the complicated web of laws that govern who owns a property and what a local government can do when that owner neglects two basic responsibilities: taking care of their property and paying property taxes.

We developed The Resident’s Workbook for Dealing with Vacant Homes and Lots because you are the person living next door to, or down the street from, the abandoned house. You deserve to live in a safe, vibrant neighborhood. And you have the power to lead and demand change.

The Resident’s Workbook contains:

  • Ideas for how to get involved in community revitalization whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned community champion
  • Tips for mobilizing neighbors and starting neighborhood groups
  • Worksheets to identify your local government offices responsible for neighborhood quality of life
  • Inspiration for creative reuse options for vacant houses and lots
  • Tips for finding funding for revitalization projects

Download the worksheets found in this report:

Worksheet to get to know your local government from the Resident's Workbook
Page from the Resident workbook with inspiration for vacant lot reuse.

Published: October 2023


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