The Center for Community Progress' VAD Academy is a virtual bootcamp for public, private, nonprofit, and community leaders whose work and communities are impacted by challenges related to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (or “VAD”) properties. VAD Academy offers the latest insights and tools to help you address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties in your community.  

The 2023 VAD Academy will take place over two days: June 21–22, 2023. 

Day one (June 21) will offer 101-level courses, introducing participants to the root causes of property vacancy and abandonment and the foundations of property revitalization. These 101-level courses will answer questions such as “What is equitable, effective, and efficient code enforcement?” and “What is a land bank and is it the right tool for my community?”  

Day two (June 22) will dive deeper into property revitalization work and share examples of each topic from the field. These sessions will feature panels with practitioners and offer a 201-level discussion for intermediate or advanced participants. Regardless of how much knowledge and experience you have in revitalization work, all participants are welcome to attend both days. 

Thanks to the support from Truist, the 2023 VAD Academy will be offered free of charge to attendees, a $300 savings.  


Vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties plague communities of all sizes across the United States. Whether spurred by historic, inequitable policies, industry loss, or natural disasters, these properties create compound challenges for residents and local governments. When working to comprehensively address and transform VAD properties, communities can find it difficult to know where to start.

Center for Community Progress’ VAD Academy was created to help public, private, nonprofit, and resident leaders craft equitable, effective approaches to addressing these property challenges. From breaking down complex systems, to sharing smart strategies for resident engagement and fostering compliance, the VAD Academy aims to equip leaders to help return properties to purposeful use.

During the VAD Academy, community development experts will guide you through critical topics related to property revitalization. These topic areas include:

  • Impact of VAD Properties: Explore the root causes and impacts VAD properties have on communities and why utilizing a systemic approach can effectively address vacancy and abandonment. 
  • Strategic Code Enforcement: Learn how to develop code enforcement programs responsive to the diverse needs and priorities of different neighborhoods.  
  • Property Tax Management: Understand how reforming property tax enforcement systems can contribute to equitable neighborhood stabilization. 
  • Land Banks and Land Banking: Examine how land banks can help eliminate properties’ liabilities and return them to productive use. 
  • Vacant Land Stewardship: Uncover the sustainable, inclusive, and comprehensive strategies behind vacant land reuse and how to empower residents to lead reuse efforts in their communities. 
  • Equitable Revitalization: Take the tools you learned about at the VAD Academy and build a plan towards equitable revitalization in your community. 

Whether you work with urban, suburban, or rural communities, the VAD Academy curriculum will help you combat widespread abandonment and neighborhood decline.

For more information

If you have questions about the VAD Academy, please check out our FAQ page or contact Christina Carter-Grant, Associate Director of the National Land Bank Network, at 

2022 VAD Academy presentations and recordings


“[The VAD Academy allowed me] to clearly see how all the different aspects of our work connect and how they can be leveraged for the betterment of our communities”

Anonymous Survey Respondent, 2019 VAD Academy