Blight/Land Banks

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 for Blight/Land Banks

A sampling of efforts to fight blight in Appalachia

Efforts to rehabilitate vacant or dilapidated property have sprung up around Appalachia, with states in the region taking varying approaches.
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Pittston Area SB tables vote on deal with land bank

Proposals for the arrangements were first presented to the board during the April’s regular meeting.
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Attorney general sues landlord with a history of violations

Landlord is being sued under Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law.
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Major Bipartisan Show of Support for Expanded Affordable Housing Funding set for Capital Rotunda

Dozens of advocates and experts to join elected officials for the release of new research on the effectiveness of the State Housing Trust Fund.
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Steel Valley students will tackle real-life blight

Creating Value is a district initiative in project-based learning, and students at Steel Valley High School are undertaking a project called Transforming Twelfth to make major improvements in the vicinity of Barrett Elementary.

Norristown council reviews ‘land bank’ proposal to combat blight

A land bank is a government organization committed to returning vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent and foreclosed properties to productive use by acquiring them and renovating them for reuse.

Bipartisan push for housing fund

Momentum is building to expand the reach of a state program that finances housing projects in the Marcellus Shale drilling region to cover the entire state.

Tools to rebuild Pottstown: Land banks help convert blighted properties

This is the first in a series of reports on strategies and programs available to help local government, businesses, residents and non-profit agencies work together to rebuild a prosperous Pottstown.
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