Community Progress Blog

President’s Corner: Fresh approaches to the “preventive medicine” of vacant property revitalization

Written by on December 17, 2015

At Community Progress, we seek to help communities that are dealing with entrenched, often large-scale vacancy and abandonment in their neighborhoods. This is critically important, but it is not enough. In the same way that many in the healthcare sector have embraced the importance of preventive medicine, we must find ways to halt deteriorating property…


Baltimore and Detroit get aggressive with nuisance properties

Written by on August 7, 2015

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is one of a ten-part series inspired by the 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference.  With a staggering 84,000-plus 90,000 vacant properties — nearly a quarter of all properties in the city — Detroit is dealing with blight on a scale unknown anywhere else in the country. Baltimore, a much…


Wheeling, WV’s code enforcement strategy contends with a graying city

Written by on October 6, 2013

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is part of the 2013 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference liveblog series. Check out all the in-depth content — even if you weren’t able to join us in Philadelphia from September 9-11, 2013, you’ll feel like you did! Every city wants to know the secret to effective, budget-friendly code enforcement. But if there’s…


Adding “oomph” to enforcement: a statewide coalition reshapes Louisiana’s blight fight

Written by on September 5, 2013

What started out as a lunchtime conversation at a national conference back in 2010 culminated this past spring with state legislative reforms that dramatically strengthen blight prevention policies in Louisiana. Specifically, a power that was previously available only in New Orleans is now open to all municipalities and parishes: the ability to enforce code liens…


5 Things Cities and CDCs Don’t Get About Code Enforcement by Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress

Written by on March 26, 2013

Originally posted by Alan Mallach in National Housing Institute’s Rooflines Blog, March 26, 2013. Community Progress Senior Fellow, Alan Mallach, addresses the importance of code enforcement for neighborhood stabilization and calls for cities and CDCs to be more strategic in their use of the tool in Rooflines, the Shelterforce/National Housing Institute blog. In most circles,…


Who is really responsible for problem properties? By Kermit Lind

Written by on December 6, 2012

Public and public interest advocates for distressed neighborhoods in the mortgage crisis and representatives from various types of mortgage and REO servicing companies are increasingly finding ways to sustain conversation with each other. This is a very good and important accomplishment. Successful dialogue is hampered by some conceptual and linguistic misunderstandings.  Here is one. I hear…


Letter from the President

Written by on September 10, 2012

In July, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it had approved buyers for nearly 2,500 vacant Fannie Mae properties.  Most of the winning bidders in this auction — the first of many needed to deal with the hundreds of thousands of vacant properties currently held in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolios —…


Bringing Sexy Back: Code Enforcement Baltimore Style

Written by on September 25, 2011

Where else but Little Italy in Baltimore in 2011 could you find 20 people from across the country on a Monday night deeply engaged in dialogue about the intricacies of code enforcement systems and processes? And who would sponsor such a gathering if not the Center for Community Progress? “Turning Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places”…