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Penn State Extension: Stabilizing Communities

April 13, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Penn State Extension provides research-based practical education you can trust. We help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. http://extension.psu.edu/.

Stabilizing Communities through Vacant & Abandoned Property Initiatives
Land banks and conservatorships are new tools for Pennsylvania communities to return vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties to productive use. Land banks have special powers to acquire these problem properties, clear the title, and convey them to new owners who are willing and able to turn them into community assets. Conservatorships are similarly a tool that allows a municipality, entity, or individual to take possession of abandoned property or vacant lot, so as to prepare it for productive use.

In Philadelphia, where there are both 40,000 vacant parcels and hundreds of community-managed farms, gardens, and open spaces, advocates and city officials are looking to both the new Philadelphia Land Bank and the conservatorship law to facilitate the creation of new and preservation of existing green and food producing community assets.

The Westmoreland County Land Bank was created to acquire and redevelop vacant, blighted properties to deter the spread of blight and to stabilize neighborhoods. Initially 10 communities were selected for participation, since then as communities discover the tangible benefits of working with the WCLB, membership continues to grow. There are now 15 participating municipalities and 11 school districts.

The WCLB enlists its network comprised of local leaders, community development corporations, non-profit affordable housing entities, and commercial developers to strategically identify properties for acquisition because they are blighted but attractive for potential reuse best suited for the community at-large.

In this webinar, we will discuss the use of open space and green development as an affirmative redevelopment strategy, beyond the traditional framework of interim use. We will explore how land banks and conservatorships can be powerful tools for supporting greening and examine best practices, with a focus on the Philadelphia Land Bank Law and Land Bank Strategic Plan as well as the Westmoreland County Land Bank.

Approved for  1.25 CM credit

More information contact Peter Wulfhorst, 570-296-3400.


April 13, 2016
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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