Community Progress Blog

Your Support Means [Community] Progress

Written by on May 5, 2020

#GivingTuesdayNow 6 Ways Your Support Helps Create Community Progress 

For more than 10 years, the Center for Community Progress has helped America’s highest-need communities respond to the challenges of vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties. From addressing the unjust policies and impacts of America’s past to raising our voice in response to community needs today, our work helps neighborhoods and residents create equitable solutions that give purpose to every property

That work is, in part, possible because of supporters like you. 


Together, you ensure that we can be present for communities and improve the quality of life for their residents.
 

This Giving Tuesday, as you consider donating to Community Progress, we are excited to share some of the important ways your support has helped neighborhoods across the United States.
 

1. More than $200 Million Invested through Land Banks in a Single State

For the last decade, Community Progress has been proud to help incubate, invest in, and grow the land banking movement in New York State.  That movement now includes 25 land banks and one of the country’s most active statewide land bank associations. 

In partnership with the NY State Attorney General’s Office, Enterprise NY, and LISC NY over the years, Community Progress has helped develop dedicated grant programs for land banks, train land bank board members and staff, and advance innovative policies and local collaborations with a focus on equitable development. Our efforts have helped the land banks in NY direct more than $200 million in neighborhood investments, transforming hundreds of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties to productive use in support of community priorities. 

To learn more, download New York State Land Banks: A New National Standard (May 2017). 

2. Breaking Down Federal Policy for Local Leaders During COVID-19

Local governments are facing a two-fold challenge of keeping their residents safe, while also keeping up with the fast-changing policy developments at all levels of government.  

Through free webinars like this Thursday’s Federal Policy Update in Response to COVID-19, Community Progress works to connect thousands of local leaders with the policy information to tackle active challenges.  

From pursuing aggressive, proactive steps to stem the spread of the virus to exploring ways to prevent or mitigate the destabilizing economic impacts, we recognize that communities across the country are experiencing this crisis on very different timelines. Our federal policy advocacy, education, and local technical assistance efforts coordinate to ensure local leaders have the information they need to make the best decisions for their communities. 

3. Improving Rental Housing Quality and Safety through Growing Efficiency

In one of America’s most well-known cities, and one of its hardest-hit by the Great Recession, Community Progress continues to support the City of Detroit and Michigan in assessing and reforming vacant and deteriorated property interventions to better serve residents.    

This work includes helping the City find new ways to improve the quality of housing by addressing deteriorated rental properties. Through a mix of direct technical assistance, knowledge-sharing, cross-city trainings, and helping connect vital influencers within Detroit, Community Progress and its Michigan Initiatives division have supported programmatic improvements with an ongoing impact on the ground. Those impacts include increasing the number of registered rental properties and home inspections, enhancing communication channels between the City and landlord community, and above all, making quality rental housing a priority of the City and other local stakeholders ensuring critical improvements continue into the future.   

Our work continues to support Detroit’s efforts to combat deterioration and improve housing quality for its nearly 700,000 residents

4. Growing the Next-Generation of Community Revitalization Leaders

From Dorothy Mae Richardson, to our own President and CEO, the field of community development and revitalization work has always been at its best when residents are active contributors to innovation.

Over the past two years, your support of Community Progress has helped to invest in 36 resident leaders and six nonprofits who lead community revitalization work across the country. Through the Community Revitalization Fellowship, leaders from across the nation gain technical knowledge, leadership skills, and build networks of partners to help convert empty lots and vacant properties into community assets. 

5. Converting Nuisance and Abandoned Properties into Assets During Disaster Recovery

In the wake of hurricanes and earthquakes, Puerto Rico is struggling to recover and rebuild from multiple natural disasters. And with help from Community Progress, a group of concerned Puerto Rico residents and community groups are building a strong multi-sector collaboration championing for bold action on the island’s extensive inventory of storm-damaged or historically distressed properties as part of an equitable recovery. 

In 2016, local changemakers at Casa Taft 169 called on our National Technical Assistance team to think through solutions to the growing number of vacant and abandoned properties while fighting displacement in the Machuchal neighborhood in San Juan.  

Over the next few years, this work expanded to the city of San Juan and other municipalities across the island. In partnership with Centro para la Reconstrucción del HábitatCommunity Progress has been able to work with hundreds of community leaders, provide guidance on island-wide legislative proposals, and support residents as they work toward ownership opportunities and equitable development in neighborhoods. 

6. Protecting Vulnerable Homeowners through Smarter, More Equitable “Tax Enforcement”

In 2016, Community Progress partnered with Baltimore City and local partners to analyze the inequitable impacts of the City’s current approach to delinquent property tax enforcement. The report’s findings helped galvanize local and state action and culminated in 2019 with the successful passage of statewide reforms to the collection and enforcement of delinquent property taxes. Since then, Community Progress has been working with a coalition of mayors and practitioners across Maryland to implement such policies in support of building more equitable and vibrant neighborhoods that uplift all residents. 

Throughout the U.S. Community Progress continues to help localities grow equity through helping demonstrate that Tax Lien Sales are Not a Vital Tool for Recovery. 

To learn more about the negative impacts of tax liens, check out this recent blog by our Director of National Technical Assistance. 

More Reasons to Invest in Community Progress 

From webinars and our Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference conference to our place-based work, Community Progress is committed to turning America’s vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties into assets for people and their neighborhoods. Your support helps us keep our commitment to turning “vacant spaces into vibrant” places by growing equity and investment in America’s high-need neighborhoods. 

We invite you to join or continue to support our work today at communityprogress.net/donate. 

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