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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

    • Our View: Land bank Takes Aim on Blight

      Go Erie Erie County’s economic pain, as in other former manufacturing hubs, registers itself most visibly in neighborhoods hollowed out by blight. Prosperity gave rise to proud, vibrant residential districts and industrial corridors, and when it retreated, left behind hulking …more

    • Opinion: Could Turning Vacant Buildings into Housing for People in Need Solve Kensington’s Homelessness Problem?

      The Philadelphia Inquirer For the past year, Dana has been sleeping outside and in abandoned buildings in Kensington. The situation wasn’t ideal, but it worked for her until July, when she was assaulted by two men. That was when Dana, …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

    • Fell Twp. Embarking on Partnership to Help Eradicate Blight

      After experiencing success in the county’s biggest city, the Lackawanna County Land Bank looks to continue that success in one of the county’s smaller communities. Officials on Monday braved the rain at a press conference held at a blighted and …more

    • Strategic Housing Code Enforcement and Public Health

      Housing code enforcement—the local government process of administering and enforcing housing codes designed to ensure safe and habitable housing conditions—is one of the primary strategies for connecting and improving our housing and our health. But housing code enforcement is often …more

    • Housing Authority Approves Plan to Redevelop Larimer School

      The long-vacant Larimer School will be redeveloped as affordable housing as part of a larger redevelopment in East Liberty and Larimer by the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. Housing authority board members voted unanimously to approve the plan …more

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