Community Progress Blog

Raising the bar in The Big Easy: Remediating 10,000 blighted properties in less than four years

Written by on February 27, 2014

In January 2014, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the City of New Orleans had not only met, but actually exceeded a major goal set back in September 2010: remediating 10,000 of the city’s more than 40,000 blighted properties by the end of 2014. The City of New Orleans reached the goal in the first half…

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President’s Preview: Communities across the country are turning to creative board-ups

Written by on February 27, 2014

Like many of you, I envision a future in which entrenched blight and vacancy in our communities is no more than a bad memory. While we work on the long term, however, communities also need near-term options to keep their residents safe and prevent decline. Lately, several organizations have come to my attention that are…

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Two and a half years in, land banking takes shape in New York State

Written by on February 27, 2014

(Learn more about what New York”s land banks are up to in the new report,  “New York State Land Banks: Combating Blight and Vacancy in New York Communities.”) The house at 257 S. Collingwood Avenue is no longer abandoned. Last December, the Greater Syracuse Land Bank sold it to Shaqir and Zahide Halimi, Kosovar immigrants…

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From problems to possibility: Collaborative teams reshape brownfields planning in West Virginia

Written by on February 27, 2014

Kathy Wittner didn’t realize exactly what she was getting into when she agreed to be part of a small-town revitalization team organized by the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative, a subsidiary of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (BAC). “I came in cold,” says Wittner, a professor of landscape architecture at West Virginia University. “We didn’t know who…

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Getting on board: A conversation with Erika Poethig

Written by on February 27, 2014

Community Progress is pleased to welcome Erika Poethig, Institute Fellow and Director of Urban Policy Initiatives at the Urban Institute, to our Board of Directors. We recently spoke with Ms. Poethig about her work and passion for urban policy, the transcript of which is below. In our last issue, we interviewed Presley Gillespie, Executive Director of…

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Eight cities selected for the 2014 Community Progress Leadership Institute

Written by on February 21, 2014

Following a competitive application process, we’re excited to introduce the eight cities selected to join the 2014 Community Progress Leadership Institute (CPLI)! CPLI is our one-of-a-kind training program focused on equipping leaders with the skills they need to transform large inventories of blighted and vacant properties into community assets. (Curious? More info about CPLI.) Delegations of up to seven people from…

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Headlines: All the latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – February 20, 2014

Written by on February 20, 2014

This is our twice-monthly round-up of the top stories about vacant, abandoned, and problem properties. These headlines are shared for informational purposes only; sharing does not indicate endorsement. (Missed the last post? Its archived on our blog.) We offer up highlights here, but follow us on Twitter for all the latest headlines, in real time. And we’re scouring the web so…

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New York Attorney General announces proposal to double the number of the State’s land banks

Written by on February 14, 2014

The number of land banks in New York may more than double. At the State Conference of Mayors on Monday, Eric Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General, announced proposed legislation that would raise the number of possible land banks in New York to 20, as well as streamline the vacant property reclamation process in other…

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At the heart of it all

Written by on February 14, 2014

We can point to the negative impact of vacant properties on health, crime, property values, and other areas. We can study vacancy numbers and property tax revenues, strained public budgets, and the impacts of demolition and preservation. But when we’re caught up in the day-to-day, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s at…

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Our new Technical Assistance Scholarship Program RFA (applications due 3/24!)

Written by on February 12, 2014

For years, through our technical assistance services, we’ve had the privilege of working with communities around the country to reclaim their neighborhoods from blight, vacancy, and abandonment. Today, we’re excited to introduce a new direction for that work, designed to bring significant TA within reach of the places that need it most, while piloting innovative…

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