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

Legislation to Create a Code Enforcement Fund

The new fund would be administered by the DCED. Grants of up to $100k would be awarded for the establishment or expansion of code enforcement programs designed to mitigate or remediate blight.
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Blight ordinance passed by Connellsville City Council

The ordinance requires owners of vacant or abandoned buildings to be registered with the city.
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Countywide land bank could be near

The Altoona Redevelopment Authority revisited the idea of creating a land bank

Housing fund to benefit Chambersburg Elm Street program

County Housing Trust Fund fed by deeds, mortgages fees
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Broken Cities: Blight poses challenges for distressed cities

As the financially strapped city struggles to combat blight and the host of ills it fosters, strategy is key.
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PA Neighborhood Assistance Program Spared from Budget Cuts

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania announced earlier this month that the program will be spared from budget cuts, but an expansion of the program now seems unlikely.

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