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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

  • Blight & Land Banks

    • Johnstown council OKs compromise on fighting blight

      From: Johnstown Tribune Democrat A rare compromise between two City Council factions has made $250,000 available to demolish blighted Johnstown building. Funding will come from about $1.2 million held in the city’s Urban Development Action Grant fund, which has operated …more

    • Our Town Donates $10,000: Money Given to Land Bank Following Mayor Pacifico’s Request

      Altoona Mirror Operation Our Town is donating $10,000 to the new Altoona land bank. The money could pay for acquisition of a “demonstration property” that would show how the land bank can put distressed real estate “back in the hands of people who …more

    • Council Mulls Code Ordinance Update

      New Castle News New Castle city council introduced an ordinance to update rental property regulations and eliminate blight within the city during last week’s meeting. The proposed ordinance includes adoption of the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code. The ordinance would establish …more

    • Webinar: Ten Years of Conservatorship: Success, Challenges and Next Steps

        Webinar: Ten Years of Conservatorship: Success, Challenges and Next Steps The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act (Act 135) was enacted ten years ago. This webinar will examine the use and impact of conservatorship over the last decade, share …more

    • From Blight to Bright: Modern, Energy-Efficient Apartment Complex Replaces Deteriorated School in Roxbury

      The Tribune-Democrat An etched stone sign still reads “Public School” at the corner of Roxbury Avenue and Sell Street. But now that sign serves as a gateway to a modern apartment building. Featuring 43 units, Roxbury Place is the first …more

    • Blair Funds to Tackle Blight

      Altoona Mirror In Sep­tember 2017, the costs of recording a mortgage and deed went up by $7.50 in Blair County to fund what commissioners said would be a revenue source to address blighted properties. Now that the fund has accumulated …more

    • Erie Fights Blight

      Go Erie From where Scott Henry sits — directing one of the lead agencies charged with controlling blight and razing dilapidated properties in the city of Erie — this year is almost certain to bring plenty of work his way. …more

    • Mayfield Looks to County Land Bank for Help in Blight Fight

      PA Homepage A small community in Lackawanna County is taking a new approach to fighting blight. Mayfield is planning to join the Lackawanna County Land Bank program to help cut down on its number of rundown property issues. The borough is …more

    • Erie Land Bank Gets $414,000 to Combat Blight

      For the first time since its launch more than two years ago, the city of Erie’s land bank has the money it needs to combat blight. A first-of-its-kind cooperative agreement approved by Erie County government’s land bank in late October, …more

    • How to Fund Land Banks

      Shelterforce recently published an article detailing how land banks across the country fund their activities. While many former industrial cities and rural communities have struggled with systemic vacancy and abandonment for decades, the 2008 housing crisis wrecked neighborhoods in virtually …more

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