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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Building a Big Dream on a Tiny Slip of Land

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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.

Vacant Home Tour Changes Conversation around Vacancy

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This article provides a more in-depth look at Wilkinsburg, PA’s innovative vacant property tour program. The program tells the story of several vacant homes and businesses, reminding visitors of the rich history of the neighborhood, and inviting participants to view properties as opportunities instead of liabilities. Click here to read the in-depth interview with the project proponents on what it took to pull it off.

Nominations Open for 2016 West Virginia Brownfield Awards

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Submit Your Nominations Now!

The West Virginia Brownfield Awards recognize the hard work and great achievements in brownfields redevelopment from across the state. These awards recognize individuals and communities who have made major contributions to the redevelopment of brownfields in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers are currently accepting nominations for the 2016 West Virginia Brownfield Awards.

Award categories:
Economic Development
Community Engagement
Environmental Impact
Local Leadership
Redevelopment Partner
Brownfields Visionary

Award nomination deadline is June 30.

Award recipients will be announced at the 2016 #WVBrownfields Conference on September 7 in Charleston, WV.

For more information on the awards, contact

Click here for more information about the 2016 #WVBrownfields Conference, to register, and to consider becoming a sponsor or exhibitor.

Tree Farm Will Sprout on Blighted Urban Land

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Last fall, Kansas City, Missouri’s Land Bank floated the idea of transforming weed-choked vacant inner city land into productive mini-forests of fast-growing trees. It was an innovative approach tried in other cities, but required private investors and a lot more ground work to actually happen. Now those details are coming together through Chicago-based Fresh Coast Capital, which announced that it has secured an initial $1 million investment for urban land revitalization projects in Kansas City, St. Louis and four other cities.

“The property will be landscaped so that it won’t just be straight rows of trees, and it will be available for the public to enjoy, Mendez said. Some of the trees will be culled after seven years, and when they are fully mature at 15 years they can be harvested for all sorts of wood products.”

Connect with Communities Facing Similar Challenges through the Redevelopment Expert Exchange

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Do you have a have a redevelopment success story to share with a fellow West Virginia community? Or, are you looking for a similar community to share lessons learned?

The Redevelopment Expert Exchange (RE2) facilitates redevelopment experience-sharing between West Virginia communities. The program matches redevelopment leaders from across the state with communities facing similar opportunities and challenges, allowing them to learn from the best practices and experiences of their peers across the state. RE2 is also offering a series of webinars throughout 2016 — we will keep you posted once they are announced.

Here are some example topics communities have exchanged:

  • Attracting developers
  • Engaging the media
  • Creating urban redevelopment authorities (URAs)
  • Establishing land reuse agencies
  • Structuring public-private partnerships


Read this success story about Wheeling’s successful Vacant Property Registration which they presented to Fairmont through an exchange facilitated by RE2.

re_2_logo_FINALTo learn more about how the WV Redevelopment Expert Exchange works or to request a match in your community, click here.


RE2 is a program of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

Can Crowdfunded Real Estate Create Equitable Economic Development?

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A community group in Pittsburgh recently purchased, rehabilitated, and converted a vacant former YMCA building into a swanky Ace Hotel that opened in December 2015. The former building stood as a wasted asset for several years in the East Liberty community. The project’s cost overruns were covered by an investment from the first-of-a-kind eREIT (electronic Real Estate Investment Vehicle) from FundRise, an online platform for crowdfunding real estate investment. Click here for the full story. 

Gateway BAD Building Undergoes Demolition in Fairmont

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A demolition crew recently tore down a large blighted structure at a major intersection in downtown Fairmont, WV. The building, a former tire center that loomed menacingly over the intersection of Cleveland Ave, Jackson Street, and Locust Ave since the tire business’s closure in the early 1980s, was one of 53 properties on the City’s blighted gateway property list and was also one of over 300 blighted properties in the volunteer-led BAD (Brownfield, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Building Group’s inventory.

Because of its high visibility and lingering vacancy, both city officials and several concerned residents placed a high priority on the property as a candidate for immediate action. Click here for the full story.