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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

    • Vacancy: America’s Other Housing Crisis

      The image of America’s housing crisis is of pricey, increasingly unaffordable housing in superstar cities. And there is too little housing—a scarcity—in those places. But there is another, even more disturbing side to America’s housing crisis: vacancy, and in some …more

    • Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Help Northumberland County Eliminate Blight

      Governor Tom Wolf announced new funding to eliminate blight in municipalities across Northumberland County, revitalizing communities and bringing the potential for further economic development in the area. “Strong communities help to build a strong economy and my administration is committed …more

    • City Hopes to Document 6,500 Houses in a Day

      The city of Sharon plans to make a significant advance in the battle against blight, and to do so, it’s going try something never before done in Pennsylvania. City leaders, along with county and state officials, collaborated on a plan to survey every house in the …more

    • Blight Battle to Expand Countywide

      Lackawanna County’s battle against blight finally appears to be ready to move beyond Scranton’s city limits. County officials recently began assembling a task force on blight through the Lackawanna County Land Bank in conjunction with NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, a nonprofit …more

    • The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act: 10 Years of Productive Reuse

      The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) recently released their newest publication, The Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act: 10 Years of Productive Reuse. This publication includes conservatorship case studies from Allegheny County, a look inside Philadelphia’s use, and policy surrounding the …more

    • Blight Task Force Taking Shape in Lackawanna County

      A task force to target blight in Lackawanna County is taking shape and expected to meet next month for the first time. The task force’s creation follows four public meetings held this spring as part of a burgeoning Blight to …more

    • AmeriCorps Team Tackles Blight in Bayfront Neighborhoods

      Seven-member team will be in Erie for seven more weeks. Ula Stebens and Ramion Smith took turns working a jackhammer to break up a chunk of old sidewalk hidden underground. And Lily Shuffield poured concrete mix into a hole to …more

    • Cambria County ‘Taking a Bite Out of Blight’

      Demolition began Thursday morning on a South Fork building that is the first property razed with Cambria County’s new blight fund. Last year, the building’s dangerous condition prompted borough officials to close Main Street near the South Fork Public Library …more

    • Commissioners Discuss New Fee for Deed Transfers to Fight Blight

      At Wednesday’s State of the County luncheon at The Lodge at Sharp Mountain, the Schuylkill County commissioners said they would consider imposing a $15 fee on each deed filed in order to combat blight. “(A) $15 fee isn’t going to …more

    • Tarentum Adds Registration Form, Reporting Tools for Vacant Properties to Website

      Tarentum has added forms to both register and report vacant properties in the borough to its website. The forms are there along with information on the borough’s new vacant property registration requirements. Council approved the new regulations in June. They …more

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