Community Progress Blog

This Tax Day, making the case for property tax reform in Detroit

Written by on April 15, 2016

  Ineffective property tax systems can have a detrimental community impact. They weaken the delivery of services that improve quality of life for local residents – from essential functions like public safety, to supportive services like enforcement of property maintenance standards. Many of the cities that we work in face a shrinking population, widespread property…


Charting a new way forward through attorney-practitioner partnerships: Part II —Milwaukee

Written by on December 15, 2015

This is the second in a two-part series exploring how strong working partnerships between practitioners and attorneys can give rise to innovation in the work to reclaim and revitalize blighted properties. Missed Part I—Syracuse? Click here >> Let’s give ourselves a little breathing room In Milwaukee, a productive partnership between Gregg Hagopian, assistant city attorney,…


How the zombie house crisis mutated and what cities are doing about it

Written by on July 10, 2015

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is one of a ten-part series inspired by the 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference. Are there more zombies in our city than ever before, or are we just paying more attention to them? “Zombie properties” is a clever name to describe residential buildings that are neither alive nor dead: They are caught in…


Efficient property tax collections vs. the cult of homeownership

Written by on October 5, 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! This morning’s session “Making the Case for Efficient, Effective and Equitable Tax Foreclosure Reform” raised…


Winter 2012 Legislative Roundup

Written by on December 11, 2012

This year many states, counties and municipalities across the country pursued legislative remedies to make their efforts to address vacant and abandoned properties more effective. This issue’s Legislative Roundup takes a brief look into some of the successful initiatives that we had an opportunity to help support this year. Pennsylvania Passes a Land Bank Act. The…


Guest Blog: Want to Lead Change in Your Community?

Written by on June 2, 2011

By Patrick Morrissy “Comprehensive and successful community stabilization is a goal that eludes most of us – especially in the wake of the foreclosure crisis and in a down housing market – but one organization knows how to do it really well.” Kind words from Patrick Morrissy, Executive Director of HANDS Inc. We always appreciate…


See You in the Big Easy!

Written by on May 24, 2011

As Director of Community Progress’ New Orleans Vacant Properties Initiative, I am particularly thrilled to announce the location of our fourth national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference in 2012. It’s New Orleans! The theme for next year’s conference is “Remaking America for the 21st Century.” New Orleans, of course, is a perfect setting in which to…


Building a Lank Bank Solution for New York

Written by on May 10, 2011

As evidenced in the recent census, the Syracuse, New York region is turning a corner on investment, development and growth.  While these trends suggest a bright future, decades of population loss and economic turmoil have left a resurgent Syracuse area with many legacy issues to wrestle with, most notably, vacant property. Nearly 2,000 unoccupied and…


Are Banks Responsible for Blight?

Written by on May 6, 2011

A suit just filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is charging Deutsche Bank with creating a public nuisance in allowing vacant, foreclosed properties to fall into such disrepair that they are blighting city neighborhoods. At Community Progress, we will, of course, be watching this case as it makes its way through the courts. …


Modernizing Georgia’s Land Bank Statute

Written by on May 4, 2011

Once again demonstrating its leadership in urban land reform, the state of Georgia stands ready to consider modernizing and strengthening the land bank statutes already in place. While land banks are already being used by communities around the state to help deal with vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties, a new piece of legislation, Senate Bill…