Community Progress Blog

Five years in, New York’s land bank movement offers lessons for national field

Written by on May 23, 2017

It was September 2013, and I was in a conference room somewhere in the City of Syracuse with about twenty other individuals from across New York State for our first meeting of New York land bank leaders. At the time, I was the Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development for the City of Binghamton,…


Why do some cities have so many vacant properties?

Written by on December 1, 2016

  Tarik Abdelazim, our associate director for National Technical Assistance, wrote this blog post (cross-posted from Breathing Lights) to begin to unpack the causes of vacancy and abandonment for residents of the Capital Region of New York. Although focused on cities in New York, the general trends described below are familiar in many cities around…


Climate Change: It Does Change Everything

Written by on June 1, 2015

Tarik Abdelazim serves as the Associate Director of National Technical Assistance for Community Progress. From 2010 to 2014, I served as Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development for the City of Binghamton, a city of about 48,000 in upstate New York that shares all the historical scars and future potential of other small former…


Election day: Local leadership is critical to revitalization

Written by on November 4, 2014

Voters across the nation stream to the polls today in our annual democratic exercise, weighing the promises from candidates in how best to address some of our pressing challenges. At the local level, I doubt there is much variance among the top concerns shared by residents and families: taxes, jobs, crime, and blight. As a…