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The Center for Community Progress: Helping transform problem spaces into vibrant places

The Center for Community Progress:
Our organization was born in 2010 out of the merger of two organizational thought leaders – the Genesee Institute and the National Vacant Properties Campaign – united by the shared mission to help communities address the rising stock of vacant and abandoned properties that undermine neighborhoods’ social, physical and economic viability.

Today, the Center for Community Progress is the nation’s preeminent organization addressing issues of vacant properties – both the prevention of abandonment and adaptive reuse. With staff in Flint Michigan, Washington D.C. and New Orleans who provide advocacy, technical assistance and organizational development services to governments and advocates throughout the nation, Community Progress helps neighborhoods, cities, counties and states forge and implement effective strategies to prevent and reuse vacant properties.

Through our website, e-newsletters and periodic books and reports, Community Progress provides cutting-edge research and enriches the strategy of others through sharing information on successful campaigns and strategies from across the nation. Through various conferences such as its Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, its Land Banking Conference and its Leadership Institute, Community Progress provides advocates with the opportunity to learn from experts in the field. And through technical assistance, Community Progress provides on-the-ground resources and support to those – be they neighborhood or regional leaders – grappling with the challenge of abandonment and rebuilding.

The tools:
Community Progress works with public officials, agencies and civic groups to address immediate issues and concerns, to revise underlying policies and practices, to support effective prevention  or control of vacant properties, and to develop the strategies and tools that support sustainable re-use.


  • Information: Community Progress is a hub for sharing and developing best practices. Through our website, conferences and print and electronic publications, Community Progress gathers, refines and disseminates information across the nation on practical strategies to repurpose vacant and problem property. Our website works as a virtual ‘tool box’ for those looking for best practices, templates for legislation, guidelines for policy, and substantive strategic thinking about land reuse, resizing cities and towns, and the host of other issues raised by abandonment and vacancy.


  • Consultation: Through on-site work, Community Progress provides states, counties, local governments and organizations with hands-on consultation to help forge strategies for preventing vacancy and abandonment; for acquiring and controlling land; for land disposition and re-use; and for crafting, passing and implementing the underlying structural and legislative changes needed in a state or locality. We offer clients a range of options to get help: the comprehensive, immersive experience at our Community Progress Leadership Institute; conferences on land banking, delinquent property tax reform, code enforcement, and other strategies; workshops for state and local governments; tailored presentations for local civic leaders, and more – all venues that allow participants access to in-depth, hands-on work/study experiences that inform local strategies. And Community Progress’ “Restoring Vacant Properties” conference brings together hundreds of government, civic and non-profit leaders to share what they’ve learned, brainstorm options, and craft new practices and strategies.


  • Education and Advocacy: Our in-depth experience in working with states and municipalities to educate and advocate for systemic change has helped us build a vast national network of partners and supporters, and also strengthened our ability to advocate for state and federal policies that enhance the ability of communities to better prevent, control and reuse vacant properties and land.


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