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

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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Pottsville city administrator offers tips on blight to boroughs association

While speaking to 15 members of the Schuylkill County Boroughs Association on Monday night, Thomas A. Palamar, Pottsville city administrator, described tools the city had in place to support its blight abatement program, and ones he wished the city had on hand.
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A plan to untangle Philadelphia's daunting decay

The New York Times features a story on PACDC's efforts to advocate for implementation of the Philadelphia Land Bank in a way that puts vacant properties back into productive use while advancing the equitable redevelopment of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.
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Philadelphia Land Bank gets first 150 vacant properties

Philadelphia's Land Bank took possession of its first 150 vacant properties on Wednesday as the agency seeks to turn blighted burdens into productive developments across the city.
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Pittsburgh rental property registry sails through first vote

Pittsburgh landlords would have to register leased properties with the city and purchase an annual permit costing $45 to $65 per unit under legislation council advanced Wednesday.
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Grant assists homeowners in drawing up wills to help end Beltzhoover blight

The Hilltop Alliance is taking an unusual tack to fight blight after discovering the obituaries of people who own derelict homes around McKinley Park in Beltzhoover.
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