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VAD Academy

Laying the foundation for a comprehensive approach to neighborhood stabilization and revitalization

VAD Academy


The Vacant, Abandoned, and Deteriorated Properties Training Academy (VAD Academy) is an intensive two-day training primarily designed for public and nonprofit leaders who are ready to take a more strategic, comprehensive approach to revitalizing VAD properties. 



Whether due to longtime industrial and population loss, or recent natural disasters, VAD properties are a big problem around the country. Tackling one property at a time isn’t going to cut it—but the policies and systems in place to help often unintentionally contribute to the problem. At the same time, many different agencies and stakeholders have a role to play, but they don’t always meet regularly or even know each other. Important data about property conditions are usually siloed across many different agencies, preventing a big-picture understanding of neighborhood conditions. Underlying all of this, tight municipal budgets limit the possibilities. It can be hard to know where to begin.


What You'll Learn

Through a mix of interactive classroom sessions and group exercises, expert faculty members guide VAD Academy students through these topics:


  • The Fundamentals of Property Market Dynamics: Understanding the market conditions that shape revitalization opportunities and constraints and how to plan accordingly
  • Strategic Code Enforcement: Developing code enforcement programs that respond to the varying needs and priorities of different neighborhoods
  • Delinquent Property Tax Enforcement: Reforming tax policies so that they contribute equitably to neighborhood stabilization
  • Land Banks and Land Banking Partnerships: Examining how to use land banks effectively to return properties to productive use in support of community goals
  • Incorporating a Comprehensive Approach to VAD Properties in Disaster Planning and Recovery: Exploring the key elements of VAD property management in the wake of disasters.


Who Should Attend 

VAD Academy

The VAD Academy is the right opportunity for government and nonprofit professionals, and in some cases their private sector and community partners, who seek to implement a more integrated approach to problem properties. It is also a good fit for professionals who work primarily on one issue area (such as code enforcement) and seek to deepen their understanding of how it intersects with other areas of work. Attendees may include urban planners, city attorneys, elected officials, CDC staff, land bank leaders, academics, police officers, code enforcement officials, and more. Urban, suburban, and rural communities experiencing widespread abandonment, as well as communities where a subset of neighborhoods find themselves stuck in decline, will benefit from the curriculum. 


If you have questions about the VAD Academy, please contact Courtney Knox, Vice President of National Leadership and Education, at cknox@communityprogress.net.