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 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

Webinar Recording: PA Landbank Resource Guide

An opportunity to hear from local blight expert Winnie Branton as she explains how to implement and operate a land bank, as described in the publication "PA Land Bank Resource Guide."

County council votes to introduce blighted property ordinance

Luzerne County Council voted to introduce a blighted property ordinance at its meeting Tuesday, allowing the proposed law to move forward for discussion and amendments.
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Press release: Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania releases two new blight remediation publications

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, an advocacy organization for safe, quality affordable homes and vibrant communities, released two publications today: “We Can DO This! A Five-Step, Fast-Track Blight Plan,” and the “Pennsylvania Land Bank Resource Guide.”
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State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone offers plan to battle blight

The state House approved a bill crafted by Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone last week that would expand the power of land banks to enter into partnerships with organizations in the private sector to restore decaying buildings.
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Ashland joins county land bank

he Borough of Ashland recently decided to become part of the Schuylkill County Land Bank, Keith Karlavage, the land bank’s chairman, said Thursday.
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Land bank idea presented to McKeesport Area schools

Blighted and tax delinquent properties have cost the McKeesport Area School District over $32.5 million since 2012, according to data compiled by the Steel Rivers Council of Governments.
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County students to take charge of blight talk at Youth Summit

Schuylkill County students will look to tackle blight at the fourth annual Youth Summit on March 10.
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Erie leaders learn about property blight at Harvard

Erie is one of nine cities across three states and the District of Columbia that have been selected to attend the 2016 Community Progress Leadership Institute, a program that equips practitioners with the leadership and technical skills to address significant blight and vacancy challenges.
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Land bank seeks additional members

The first land bank in Schuylkill County held its first meeting in the borough Wednesday night.
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