What is the VAD Academy? 

The Center for Community Progress’ VAD Academy was created to help public, private, nonprofit, and resident leaders address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) property challenges. Also commonly referred to as “blighted” properties, these structures and vacant lots exist in communities of all sizes across the United States as a result of historic inequitable policies, industry loss, or natural disasters.  

When working to comprehensively address and transform VAD properties, communities can find it difficult to know where to start. VAD Academy equips leaders to help return properties to purposeful use by breaking down complex systems, sharing smart strategies for engaging residents, and more.  


What will I learn at VAD Academy? 

Community development experts will guide participants 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. 


Who should attend VAD Academy?

VAD Academy is designed for government, nonprofit, and private sector professionals and community partners who aim to equitably address problem properties. If you work primarily in one issue area (such as code enforcement) and want to better understand how your day-to-day intersects with other areas of work, VAD is a great opportunity for you.  

Past participants have included urban planners, city attorneys, elected officials, community development corporation staff, land bank leaders, academics, code enforcement officials, neighborhood association leaders, developers, lending institutions, and more. Whether you work with urban, suburban, or rural communities, the curriculum will help you combat widespread abandonment and neighborhood decline. 


How do I register for VAD Academy? 

You can register for the 2023 VAD Academy here.


Is VAD Academy asynchronous? 

No. VAD Academy is a live virtual learning event. Sessions will happen on a set schedule and attendees will have the opportunity to ask the presenters questions in real time. Once one session ends, attendees simply head into the next session.  

If you register for the event but are unable to attend, we can share academy recordings upon request.


Is there a cost?

There is no cost! VAD Academy is offered free-of-charge thanks to the support of Truist. 


What are the program requirements?

There are no requirements to participate in VAD Academy. Anyone is welcome to participate. 


Who do I contact with questions?

Additional questions about the VAD Academy can be sent to:

Christina Carter-Grant, Associate Director, National Land Bank Network at
[email protected].