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

Central Dauphin School Board mulls partnership with Land Bank

Central Dauphin School Board Vice President Brian Faleshock said that partnering with the Dauphin County Land Bank could approve the appearances of communities in the district.
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Easton fights blight at crumbling Rock Church properties

Easton cited the Rock Church for failing to maintain 507 Northampton St., where bricks crumble in the rear
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Northeast Land Bank Authority considers three new voting members

Three new municipalities could become voting members of the Northeast Land Bank Authority.
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Two largest land banks in Pennsylvania have been slow getting off the ground

There are some neighborhoods in Pennsylvania cities where half of the properties are blighted or tax-delinquent or both. But getting them into the hands of new owners who can make them useful for the neighborhood again has been difficult.
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Blight fight: City development plan to take in-depth look at housing stock

The city of Erie is developing a comprehensive plan to deal with blighted properties
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Dormont seeks return on investment through Pennsylvania conservatorship law that allowed rehabilitation of abandoned house

Dormont is waiting for its day in court to recover more than $170,000 it invested in rehabilitating an abandoned house that fetched $225,000 when it was sold last month.
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Blight law allows city to go after assets; Municipalities able to file liens against violators

The city of Altoona is preparing to enforce a provision in a 2010 blight law that allows municipalities to file liens on assets - any assets - of major violators.
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Land bank would honor Hill Neighborhood Association effort

The county commissioners have announced an effort to create a land bank in Lackawanna County.
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Northern Schuylkill COG works to establish county’s first land bank

In recent years, some municipalities in Schuylkill County have come up with strategic measures to gain ground in the war on blight.
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