Community Progress Blog

Westmoreland County’s redevelopment authority and land bank tackle affordability and accessibility

Written by on August 10, 2017

  Westmoreland County, located southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has an active redevelopment authority and a land bank. It also has a large, and growing, aging population and a housing affordability problem. A new grant award will make it possible for the redevelopment authority and land bank to help with those challenges. The Redevelopment Authority of…


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,…


Land Banks & Community Land Trusts: Not Synonyms or Antonyms. Complements

Written by on November 22, 2016

By: Emily Thaden, Kim Graziani, Annie Stup This blog post also appeared on the Shelterforce blog, “For land banks to get into the affordable housing business, which is a discipline in itself, there could be claims that it’s off mission. But it’s not always off mission, particularly when it comes to improving or emerging…


Dollars and sense: The search for sustainable land bank funding

Written by on July 7, 2015

Frank Alexander, in his newly released second edition of Land Banks and Land Banking, talks about well-run land banks as nimble, flexible tools. No two land banks are exactly the same, as each is adapted to its own particular local conditions. If there is one common challenge that binds together nearly all of the estimated 120 land banks nationwide, however, it would probably be…


The state of land banks in 2015: An interview with Frank Alexander

Written by on June 30, 2015

The second edition of Land Banks and Land Banking, the ground-breaking book by Frank S. Alexander, was released earlier this month. It builds on the legacy of the 2011 first edition with fresh insights and resources for practitioners and policy-makers. With about 120 land banks and land banking programs now located around the country, we spoke with…


Today’s land bank boom could lead to the extinction of land banks

Written by on June 19, 2015

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is one of a ten-part series inspired by the 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference. Frank Alexander wasn’t expecting his book, Land Banks and Land Banking, to wind up so big. “In 2010, when we created the Center for Community Progress one of the reasons we did so, Dan Kildee and I, is [because] we…


Spring cleaning: Vacant lot maintenance through community engagement in Flint

Written by on March 24, 2015

Spring is here at last, and for many Legacy City blight fighters, that means one thing – lot mowing and maintenance season. Maintenance, which includes mowing, waste removal, and other activities to keep lots clean and green, can be costly and time consuming. In order to make sure lots are kept up, some cities rely on strong…


How the Cuyahoga Land Bank is helping refugees “Discover Home”

Written by on December 18, 2014

Land banks can work in concert with a whole host of private, public, and nonprofit partners, using those creative partnerships to help the communities they serve. An example of one such partnership is the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (Cuyahoga Land Bank)’s Discovering Home program–described in Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are…


Easy as A-B-C: The Chautauqua acquisition model

Written by on December 17, 2014

How should a land bank decide which properties to acquire? Researching our recent national land bank report confirmed it’s a major question that virtually all land banks grapple with. In Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America’s Neighborhoods, we found that “though the majority of land banks are practicing more selective acquisition…


Omaha Habitat honors Community Progress with Nebraska leaders

Written by on December 15, 2014

There is much to celebrate in Omaha. Over the past year, the State of Nebraska passed a land bank statute, and a diverse group of businesses, nonprofits, community leaders, and elected officials in Omaha came together to champion the passage of the Omaha municipal land bank ordinance, creating the first land bank in the State.…