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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

    • Westmoreland could raze blight by raising real-estate filing fees

      By: Rich Cholodofsky, Pittsburgh Tribune Review Published: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 Home buyers and sellers in Westmoreland County will pay an extra $15 in filing fees under a plan set to be approved Thursday. County commissioners expect to vote on …more

    • Land Bank Public Hearing Held November 14 at PA’s Capitol

      November 15, 2017 The House Urban Affairs Committee held a land bank hearing November 14 to discuss the progress of land banks in Pennsylvania. The five year anniversary of Act 153, which made it possible for land banks to be …more

    • Somerset County to begin collecting blight-busting fee on deeds, mortgages

      By: Mark Pesto, Johnstown Tribune-Democrat Published: November 1, 2017 SOMERSET – In an effort to make a dent in the number of blighted properties in the region, the Somerset County Board of Commissioners resolved Tuesday to begin assessing a fee …more

    • City of Erie, county expect collaboration to fight blight

      By Kevin Flowers, Erie Times News Published: Oct 31, 2017 New legislation will give county government $1 million a year for a land bank. The City of Erie — which launched its own land bank in April to combat blight — expects …more

    • PHARE in 2017: What will it do?

      Posted: November 7, 2017 On November 4 we celebrate the anniversary of Act 58 which dedicated a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax (RTT) as a consistent revenue source for PHARE – the state housing trust fund. This #GivingTuesday (November 28), you …more

    • Celebrating the Anniversary of Land Bank Legislation in PA

      By: Phyllis Chamberlain Published: October 24, 2017 Today we celebrate the five year anniversary of Act 153—the monumental bill which allowed for the creation of land banks in the Commonwealth. Also known as the Land Bank Act, this bill gives local governments a flexible tool to …more

    • Pottstown looks to land bank to help with blighted properties

      By: Matt Carey, Reading Eagle Published: October 15, 2017 After years of declining real estate assessments in the borough, Pottstown officials hope that a land bank will help stem the tide by moving some blighted properties to new owners. Borough …more

    • Scranton Police and Inspectors Hit the Streets in the Fight Against Blight

      By: Jayne Ann Bugda , PA Homepage Published: Oct 14, 2017 SCRANTON, LACKWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Scranton police took the fight against blight to the street on Friday. Officers  along with members of the city’s licensing and inspection unit walked through …more

    • Communities Take Action to Fight Blight

      By: Phyllis Chamberlain Published: October 11, 2017 Senator David Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks), Chairman of the Pennsylvania Blight Task Force and a great champion of state level policies and programs to tackle blight, issued a challenge to communities across the Commonwealth in …more

    • City forming blight action team

      By: Debbie Wachter, New Castle News Published: Oct 6, 2017 New Castle’s mayor has the task of appointing seven people to serve on a blight action team. The team’s goal will be to identify five properties within the city that …more

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