COVID-19 Update from Dr. Akilah Watkins

As we begin to face the long-term impacts of COVID-19, I want to encourage us that this time things can be different. We can be proactive in making our communities even better.

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Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places

The mission of Center for Community Progress is to foster strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Founded in 2010, Community Progress is the leading national, nonprofit resource for urban, suburban, and rural communities seeking to address the full cycle of property revitalization. The organization fulfills its mission by nurturing strong leadership and supporting systemic reforms. Community Progress works to ensure that public, private, and community leaders have the knowledge and capacity to create and sustain change. It also works to ensure that all communities have the policies, tools, and resources they need to support the effective, equitable reuse of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties. 

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The Center for Community Progress Hires National Director of Partnerships


Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar, Housing Authority Leader and Development Executive joins
senior leadership of national Community Development Nonprofit

News Release (PDF)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 9, 2020 – Today, the Center for Community Progress, America’s leading resource on issues of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties, announced Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar, Vice Chair of the City of Glenarden, Maryland's Housing Authority, will serve as its new Director of National Partnerships.


“Collaboration is a vital part of creating success at the national, local, and neighborhood level,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler, President and CEO. “Mrs. Guillaume-Delemar’s extensive experience creating impact at every level will enhance our ability to grow and expand our work in the communities across America.”


Guillaume-Delemar joins the senior team at Community Progress, who led the creation of America’s land banking industry and 180 institutions across the U.S. That work includes spearheading legislative progress in 15 states and creating one of America’s largest land-use educational events – the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference.


About Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar

Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar is the Director of National Partnerships for the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”


A 25-year community development and philanthropic leader, Guillaume-Delemar’s award-winning work has helped both local and national funders drive meaningful, equitable impact in communities nationwide.


“I’m a believer that relationships lead to results,” says Guillaume-Delemar.


Her experience as a strategic advisor includes shaping the major gifts pipeline at the Washington Post-acknowledged Miriam's Kitchen and growing the organizational impact of Jubilee Housing by more than 400 percent. Those efforts included leading a three-year $60 million capital campaign that helped revitalize affordable housing for more than 700 individuals, launching neighborhood youth services initiatives, and creating a Returning Citizens Transitional Housing program. 


A former Commissioner on the Prince George's County Affordable Housing Authority, Guillaume-Delemar has contributed as a strategic advisor and subject matter expert for the Maryland General Assembly, the Office of the Governor of Maryland, and national community development partners. 


In addition to her work in the Greater Washington, DC metro area, Guillaume-Delemar has led the development of partnerships with local and federal governments, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Enterprise Community Partners, LISC, and dozens of other influential community development stakeholders. 


Guillaume-Delemar is a former member of the Board of New York City nonprofit Tonel Lakay Inc. and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Faith and Money Network and Recovery Cafe DC.


A graduate of Howard University, Guillaume-Delemar’s work has been acknowledged by Bank of America, the National Capital Gift Planning Council, the Tom Joyner Foundation, and others across the United States. Today, she continues to leverage her expertise as a facilitator and passion for racial and social justice to help marginalized communities reverse wealth inequities and preserve culture; including a special, personal focus on Haitians and Haitian-Americans.


Today, Guillaume-Delemar’s leads fundraising and partnership development for the Center for Community Progress and the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, which connects more than 1,400 grassroots leaders and revitalization professionals nationwide.



For media interviews and more information about the Center for Community Progress, email or call (877) 542-4842 ext. 153.




About the Center for Community Progress

Since 2010, the Center for Community Progress has helped more than 300 communities transform vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Through offices in Michigan and Washington, D.C., Community Progress works to create a future where all people live in strong, healthy, just communities where widespread vacant properties no longer exist. For more information visit


Learn About Our Work 

Community Progress exists to help meet the growing need in America’s cities and towns for effective, sustainable solutions to turn vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties into vibrant places.

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Alan Mallach Shares in Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: Addressing the Aftermath of COVID-19

Download this short guide to jumpstart local and community conversations on how to address the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in America’s highest-need neighborhoods.

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