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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

    • Lancaster City Land Bank starts up

      By: Tim Stuhldreher, LancasterOnline Published July 21, 2017 The Lancaster City Land Bank officially began operations this week, giving the city a new option for turning abandoned properties into occupied homes and thriving businesses. Created last year, the land bank …more

    • Editorial: Taxpayers bear blight’s costs

      By: Scranton Times Tribune Published: July 14, 2017 Quantifying the true cost of blight is probably incalculable, but a new survey helps illustrate part of the public burden. Blight costs Lackawanna County $1.4 million annually in lost tax revenue and …more

    • ‘We’re coming for you’; Shamokin mayor issues warning to owners of blighted properties

      By: Larry Deklinski, Shamokin News Item Published: July 11, 2017 SHAMOKIN — Mayor William Milbrand issued a stern warning to people who fail to maintain their property: “We’re coming for you.” Milbrand told people in attendance at a city council …more

    • Turning Information into Insight

      By: The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development at Wilkes University Published: July 2017 The Institute’s Housing Task Force recently completed work on Measuring the Economic Impact of Blight in Lackawanna & Luzerne Counties The study estimates that blight …more

    • The Battle Against Blight: State and Local Officials Meet

      By: Joey Pizzolato, The M Report Published: July 5, 2017 Recently, in a roundtable event on community blight in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a town plagued with 447 cases of vacant or abandoned homes, Senator John DiSanto (R-PA) met with Senator Tom …more

    • Could a land bank fix Lebanon’s nuisance properties?

      By: Daniel Walmer , Lebanon Daily News Published:  June 29, 2017 Imagine a Lebanon with less criminal activity, fewer nuisance properties, and more revenue for the school district without tax increases. Mayor Sherry Capello says all that and more could …more

    • Irwin takes steps to get rid of blight

      By: Anne Cloonan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Published: Jun 30, 2017 Irwin officials soon will have more tools to use to get some residents and landlords to better maintain their properties. Council has voted to have borough solicitor Zach Kansler create a Quality …more

    • June Land Bank Call

      Recorded: June 22, 2017 Hear from Schuylkill and Lackawanna counties on the funding and start up of their land banks. Presenters include: Chris Gulotta, Principal, The Gulotta Group, LLC Ian Mahal, Member of Mineresville Borough Council and Secretary-Treasurer of the …more

    • Funding cuts to affordable housing proposed for upcoming state budget

      Funding cuts to affordable housing proposed for upcoming state budget Some funding cuts to affordable housing have been proposed for the upcoming state budget. As News 8’s Matt Barcaro explains, some fear that could hurt the homeless the most.

    • Editorial: Lackawanna County Land Bank starts to fill holes

      Scranton Times Tribune Published: June 8, 2017 The Lackawanna County Land Bank’s first official transaction is a great example of what the institution can accomplish for property owners, their neighborhoods and the tax base Established in December 2015, the land …more

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