The first in a webinar series exploring what communities need to know to successfully leverage their available resources to successfully meet their brownfields revitalization challenges. This webinar will discuss available tools and focus on Dubuque, Iowa’s successful efforts to leverage its own resources to attract other federal, state, public, and private sources of funding and technical assistance.
The Rock Springs Riverfront Redevelopment Committee in Chester, WV, is taking on the task of dealing with the town’s blighted properties. Their first hurdle is identifying these properties and making connections with property owners to see how they can help. Click here for the full story!
Zombie properties along with bank and federally-owned foreclosed homes may have decreased property values by as much as $11 million in Monroe County and the city of Rochester, New York according to a new report released by the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference.
Poorly maintained zombie homes “are having a real impact on people who have had nothing to do with the foreclosure crisis,” said Klein. “These people are still being affected by these dilapidated properties.” Click here for the full story.
Tackling blight is expensive. Kansas City, Kansas, is betting that data can reverse decades of urban decay. The Unified Government hopes to address decades of neglect with money from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative. The idea is to connect smaller municipalities with data tools that can help them govern better. The advantage to partnering with Bloomberg is Kansas City, Kansas, won’t have to develop its own infrastructure to fight the problem. It can borrow from what partner cities have learned. Click here for the full story.
Four vacant lots on Detroit’s west side have been given new life as stormwater retention gardens, each capable of corralling up to 300,000 gallons of water below ground per year while creating a beautiful common space for neighbors up above.
Initiated by an interdisciplinary team of University of Michigan students, the project represents a few significant firsts: the first green stormwater infrastructure project to receive investment from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD); the first time that department and the Detroit Land Bank Authority have collaborated. And with their massive capacity and appealing design, the stakeholders are also hoping to prove just how much green infrastructure can do. Click here for the full story.
The city of Los Angeles has approved a deal for nonprofit and private developers to convert “nuisance” motels into 500 permanent supportive apartments for homeless veterans, a major step forward toward developing large-scale housing for hundreds of homeless veterans. Advocates say about 2,700 homeless veterans remain in the county, despite an intensive drive by local and federal officials.
Under the deal, developers will purchase underutilized, often run-down motels from private owners and convert them to efficiency apartments. The city’s housing authority will issue vouchers funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which will cover residents’ rent and provide supportive services, including case management and counseling. Click here for the full story.
The mayor of Imperial Beach, California has made it his mission to clean up neighborhoods by tearing down one rusty chain-link fence at a time. He is partnering with nonprofit organizations, such as one that uses sustainable construction techniques to create affordable homes, community centers, creative gathering spaces and other structures out of trash and recyclables, to develop abandoned sites into useful gathering places for the community. Click here for the full story.
One of the first steps Detroit took to addressing its housing crisis and address abandoned and dilapidated buildings was to see how large of a problem they had. This article highlights the Motor City Mapping program developed to collect and digitize the Detroit’s property information. Click here for the full story.
A modest population of 3,500 people with a budget under strain. Sound familiar?
The small town of Jun, Spain started running most public communications through Twitter in 2011, which not only resulted in a reduction of 13%, or around $380,000, of the local budget each year since, but has also encouraged greater accountability, transparency, and efficient access to public services.
Need to see the local doctor? Send a quick Twitter message to book an appointment. See something suspicious? Let Jun’s policeman know with a tweet. People in Jun can still use traditional methods, like completing forms at the town hall, to obtain public services. But through the use of Twitter, they have created a digital democracy where residents interact online almost daily with town officials. How might this tech solution help your town address abandoned buildings?
Three years ago, the Cuyahoga Land Bank in Ohio took over a tiny abandoned house on a 35- by 95-foot parcel in Lakewood’s Scenic Park neighborhood.
As the Land Bank razed the 348-square-foot house, cleared the property and laid grass seed, LakewoodAlive, a community-centered non-profit organization focused on maintaining vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood, took notice. The parcel became part of a beautiful new 2-story home. Click here for the full story.