Vacant Land Keys to Success: Land Access and Acquisition

Insights from the National Survey on Greening

Author(s): Center for Community Progress, Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health

Across the board, vacant lot inventories are growing. This growing inventory requires action to ensure lots are used to achieve community goals. Vacant properties with absentee owners often undermine neighborhood conditions and stability. This is why formal access and acquisition programs are critical. With few options for gaining site control, some organizations and neighborhood groups take on legal and safety risks to maintain vacant, privately owned lots. When public entities, such as land banks or the local government, acquire vacant properties in an efficient, consistent, and timely manner, it can increase access for communty groups, minimize problem property owners, and support strategic reuse.

“Keys to Success: Land Access and Acquisition,” is a component of our overall “Keys to Success: Lessons from the Field” guide to greening best practices as a method of reducing youth violence and injury. Keys to Success reports on findings from a six-year research project between the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center and the Center for Community Progress to identify the practices that help greening organizations (i.e. community organizations, nonprofits, land banks) meet the rising demand for vacant lot care across the country. This publication is a companion to the “America’s Vacant Lot Landscape: Insights from the National Survey on Greening.”

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

Published: March 2021

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