Community Progress Blog

New Resource! Download the Michigan Code Enforcement Guide, “Revitalization in Michigan: A Guide to Transforming VAD Properties through Code Enforcement”

Written by on September 8, 2020

Code enforcement that is used equitably, efficiently, and effectively is one of the most promising approaches to vacant, abandoned, and deteriorating properties at work in the United States today. Michigan communities have a number of valuable tools available. Whether you are a local elected official, a member of building department staff, or a community leader striving to…


Filling the Gaps: Helping Struggling Property Owners Connect to Rehab and Repair Resources

Written by on June 16, 2020

Today, property owners – homeowners, landlords and businesses – feeling the active COVID-19 impacts are also bracing for a possible larger real estate market downturn and more unknowns. These influences, especially when combined with job loss or other challenges, leave many owners finding it difficult to invest in necessary maintenance and repairs. Earlier this Spring,…


We Will Need Code Enforcement Now More Than Ever: Three COVID-19 Responses to Protect Neighborhoods

Written by on May 12, 2020

In the sea of COVID-19 uncertainty, there are a few neighborhood-level realities we know for sure. Our neighbor’s financial constraints may postpone planned repairs – like fixing that damaged roof that’s in danger of collapsing; the tenants in the 3-flat at the corner of the block could face eviction, due to job loss and inability…


Community Progress Announces Upcoming Webinars Focused on Preventing Post-COVID-19 Vacancy

Written by on April 20, 2020

Over the last 30-days we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis forever change the fabric of this country. The lives of millions of Americans have been impacted and the need for equity will grow exponentially.  As communities are grappling with the immediate health, social, and economic impacts of this unprecedented pandemic, municipal leaders are trying to…


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…