PAWV Launches New Historic Preservation Loan Fund

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Monroe Street in Fairmont looking south towards the Monongahela River – Photo by Shae Strait

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has launched a new loan program aimed at getting historic structures rehabilitated. The program is called the Historic Preservation Loan Fund. It is a revolving loan guarantee program to help minimize risk for lending financial institutions in case a borrower defaults and to assist applicants that may not have the capital available for a bank loan. The funds must be used for acquiring, rehabilitating, or redeveloping of a historic building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a contributing structure to a NRHP district, eligible for the NRHP, or on PAWV’s current list of Endangered Properties.

To learn more, please visit PAWV’s News and Notes article.

WV HDF Re-issues Code Enforcement Technical Assistance RFP

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The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has re-issued its Request for Proposals for the new Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support as part of the Property Rescue Initiative program. The Code Enforcement Technical Assistance program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to enhance existing or to create effective code enforcement for communities. The financing can be used for adopting and updating ordinances, procuring a certified code enforcement official, training in code enforcement procedures and practices, personal certifications or department accreditation relevant to code enforcement, and now it also includes contractor labor as it directly relates to demolition of dilapidated residential structures.

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The WVHDF Launches RFP for Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support

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The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has begun accepting Request for Proposals for the new Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support as part of the Property Rescue Initiative program. The Code Enforcement Technical Assistance program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to enhance existing or to create effective code enforcement for communities. The financing can be used for adopting and updating ordinances, procuring a certified code enforcement official, training in code enforcement procedures and practices, and personal certifications or department accreditation relevant to code enforcement.

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What is Creative Placemaking?

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If you’re in the business of addressing dilapidated and abandoned buildings, you obviously care about and want to improve a place. Placemaking is both a philosophy and process that involves the planning, design, and management of public spaces. It capitalizes on a local community’s assets and potential to create public spaces that promote health, happiness, and well being.

Creative placemaking projects aim to deeply engage the arts, culture, and creativity — especially from underrepresented communities — so that the resulting communities better reflect and celebrate local culture, heritage and values.

The Project for Public Spaces offers resources and tips to find affordable and effective solutions to improve a place. They offer ideas tailored to governments, communities, and individuals for how you can take action to improve your public space.

Recently, Transportation For America also developed an interactive guide that includes eight basic approaches to creative placemaking to get you started. Each approach includes inspiring and concrete local examples and detailed resources. Scroll to the bottom to choose an approach.

WVU Offers Legal Tools to Combat Blight

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In case you missed it — the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at West Virginia University recently published a toolkit to help communities navigate the thorny issues around abandoned and neglected buildings. Click here for the background story. 

To explore the online legal toolkit, which is called “From Liability to Viability: A Legal Toolkit to Address Neglected Properties in West Virginia,” or to download a free PDF, visit the LEAP website. 

Liability to Viability: Legal Toolkit now available!

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From Liability to Viability: A Legal Toolkit to Address Neglected Properties in West Virginia is a new, exciting, and long-anticipated tool now available from the West Virginia University Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic. This toolkit presents currently available legal tools to help local governments in West Virginia convert dilapidated properties to productive use. Click here to access the toolkit online in addition to a free downloadable PDF.

Highlights from the toolkit include:

  • Building code, citations, liens for demolition, eminent domain, land banks and more
  • Vacant Property Registration
  • Negotiating with stakeholders
  • West Virginia community examples and usage
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each tool
  • Ways to fund each tool

If your community faces any issue related to abandoned or dilapidated properties, you should explore the WV LEAP toolkit. WV LEAP stands for West Virginia Legal Education to Address Abandoned/Neglected Properties, a program of the WVU Land Use Law Clinic.

Update – New Tools!

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We’ve added a few more tools to this site:

Analyze maps and data is a new section that offers tools for easily accessing maps of your town or geographic region with information such as flood zones, trails, environmental issues, and more. We also include links to population and demographic data available through the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The RE-Powering Electronic Decision Tree tool created by the EPA will help you determine whether your site has potential barriers to become a solar or wind project. You can find a fact sheet and a link to download the tool on the Reuse a property page under “Is your site viable for reuse as wind or solar energy generation?”

Finally, you can also find a step-by-step process guide to help you determine what matters most to residents and plan strategies to meet those needs. Visit the Mobilize Community page to download the Orton Family Foundation’s Heart and Soul Field Guide, located under “Create a community vision.”

For a comprehensive list of all the tools offered on this site, click here. We also offer links to funding resources for different types of projects here.