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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

    • Sunbury Right on Target in Blight Fight

      Sunbury city officials are on the right track with their continued efforts to clean up neighborhoods, making them more attractive to potential residents, businesses and workers. The city announced this week it was adding another two dozen homes to its …more

    • Blight Proposal Could Aid City, Property Owners

      A plan that could allow property owners to purchase adjoining land is under consideration by the New Castle Blight Action Team. Christopher Gulotta of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, who has been consulting with the city on blight eradication, met …more

    • How Phoenixville was Able to Rise From the Ashes – and What Other Towns Can Learn From It

      Just what is in that secret sauce, the stuff applied to revitalize our older downtowns? The right formula requires a measure of art and science. The secrets of Phoenixville’s highly successful revitalization efforts are now revealed here. Once a downtrodden, disinvested mill …more

    • Can Community Land Trusts Slow Gentrification?

      Can Community Land Trusts (CLTs) slow gentrification? A recent empirical study finds important evidence and concludes that CLTs can moderate the negative effects of neighborhood gentrification. The study, published in the Journal of Urban Affairs, surveyed 46 CLTs in 22 states …more

    • New Kensington to Receive $1.2 million for Downtown, Blight Removal, Business Training

      New Kensington is set to receive $1.2 million over the next six years through a program that enables local companies to earmark a portion of their state taxes for use in community projects. “I’m looking very forward to it — …more

    • New Action Team Tasked With Blight Solution

      Christopher Cook, 38, grew up in the residential heart of Altoona, and the deterioration of the neighborhoods where he spent his childhood has left him embarrassed and sad. As a restoration contractor, Cook has taken it upon himself to help …more

    • New Castle City’s Blight Team Continues Its Plans

      A plan that could clear blight from city neighborhoods a block at a time could improve the image of New Castle. Members of the city’s Blight Action Team met with consultant Christopher Gulotta of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania to …more

    • City’s Blight Task Force to Present Findings, Plan

      The five-plus months’ work of the city Blight Task Force will culminate Wednesday with the group presenting its “comprehensive blight strategy plan.” The session will be the fourth and final gathering of the task force, which consists of 18 members, including …more

    • Gun Violence Can Be Reduced By Clearing Vacant Lots, Study Finds

      A new Philadelphia study, financed by the National Institutes of Health, finds evidence for a gun-violence remedy few would argue with: clearing trash and debris from vacant lots. Researchers selected 541 blighted parcels to receive one of three treatments from the Pennsylvania …more

    • Blight to Bright Program Planned for Lackawanna County

      Lackawanna County is launching a program to help communities fight blight. Based on a model proven successful elsewhere in Pennsylvania and made possible by a $65,000 state gaming grant, the Blight to Bright initiative launches this spring. The Lackawanna County …more

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