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ISSUES

Help us End Blight in Pennsylvania

Hundreds of thousands of blighted or abandoned buildings are spread across Pennsylvania, impeding community and economic development programs and conveying images of old, worn out communities.
At the Housing Alliance, we see these properties in our communities not as the eyesores they are today, but as untapped assets that provide land for redevelopment. Abandoned land, when transformed into productive re-use, is a critical opportunity for our older communities to modernize, revitalize, and grow, and to improve the quality of life for neighbors who are already there.
While addressing blight is a local concern, the solutions are largely enabled by state law. Over the past several years the Pennsylvania General Assembly, in response to demand by local communities, has begun to modernize antiquated laws that stand in the way of local efforts. New individual laws are beginning to weave a policy infrastructure to transform blighted and abandoned property into quality homes people can afford, gardens and farms for fresh food, new businesses and industries that create local jobs.
Check out PAblightlibrary.com for a collection of land bank resources as well as the digital version of “Blight to Bright” a manual of effective tools available to return vacant properties to productive use.

 

News

    • 2008-2017 State Budget Chart updated April 6, 2017

      Revised 4/6/17 Figures are rounded. 1 Tax Credit; part of the Tax code not the Budget. 2 Also included in HSDF Block Grant. 3 2012-2013 through 2016-2017 funded from the Homeowner Assistance Settlement Fund, not General Fund. 4 Funded from Act 13 Impact Fees. Minimum of $5 M but by formula the amount has been …more

    • Governor Wolf Announces New PHARE Funding to Support Affordable Housing across Pennsylvania

      Press Release from Governor Tom Wolf’s Office Published: April 13, 2017 Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) fund. This funding is a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax earmarked through Act 58 …more

    • Lackawanna County Land Bank acquires 26 more properties

      By: Kyle Wind Published: April 14, 2017 The Lackawanna County Land Bank approved acquiring 26 more Scranton properties and selling two more small abandoned lots to neighbors Thursday. The properties targeted by the new authority — which is designed to cut through red tape associated with redevelopment — are all vacant lots and part of …more

    • Erie land bank board conducts first meeting

      By Kevin Flowers Published: April 18, 2017 The Erie Land Bank, aimed at fighting blight, is officially up and running. The land bank’s five-member board of directors conducted its first meeting at Erie City Hall on Monday afternoon. During the meeting, the board elected officers and adopted its bylaws, and started preliminary discussions on how …more

    • $200G Pa. grant to aid Bloom housing

      By: Bloomsburg Press Enterprise Published: April 14, 2017 HARRISBURG — A state agency has provided the first bit of funding for a “multi-million dollar, four-story, general occupancy apartment complex” at the former site of the Bloomsburg Mills, according to a press release from state Sen. John Gordner. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has awarded a …more

    • ‘You need that first inviting structure’: Dauphin County begins process to redevelop blighted commercial properties

      By: Christen Alexandersen Published: April 12, 2017 Dozens of vacant commercial and industrial properties in Dauphin County may be given new life as part of a redevelopment program to transform blighted properties into prized community assets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Dauphin County a $400,000 grant to conduct dozens of environmental assessments on vacant …more

    • In Ohio County That Backed Trump, Word of Housing Cuts Stirs Fear

      By: Yamiche Alcindor Published: April 2, 2017 KINSMAN, Ohio — For years, Tammy and Joseph Pavlic tried to ignore the cracked ceiling in their living room, the growing hole next to their shower and the deteriorating roof they feared might one day give out. Mr. Pavlic worked for decades installing and repairing air-conditioning and heating …more

    • Webinar Recording: Using Conservatorship to Tackle Blight

      Conservatorship is one of the only legal tools available that allows a court to appoint someone to deal with an abandoned property when the owner had died, moved away, or refuses to act. Learn how conservatorship is being used in creative ways across the state and how to make your case in court. Presenters: Kendall …more

    • Webinar Recording: Land Banks 101

      Webinar Recorded on March 24, 2017 What is a land bank?  What does a land bank do?  Land banks are a new tool for communities to strategically acquire vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties and convert these liabilities into assets.  This webinar provides an overview of land banks and land banking under the Pennsylvania Land …more

    • CDBG Money Continues to Fund City Redevelopment Amid Federal Budget Changes

      By: Alex Levy, PCRG Published: March 10, 2017 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, a longstanding program operated by HUD, continues to be a primary source of support for the City of Pittsburgh and its community organizations in 2017. This year’s capital budget, which can be viewed in its entirety here, receives 17% ($12.5 million) …more

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