Vacant Home Tour Changes Conversation around Vacancy

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.

Paducah, Kentucky Attracts Artists to Rehab Homes

Artists from all over America started coming in 2000 to buy and restore homes in Lowertown, Paducah, Kentucky’s oldest — and most blighted – neighborhood. The neighborhood is now home to more than 70 artists, thanks to the city’s artist relocation program which was made possible with the help of a locally owned bank that willing to take a chance on this untested idea. Click here for the full story.

“Artists are the kind of folks who see what can be,” Barnett said. “They see potential, and we knew that was what it was going to take when they came in to see the neighborhood in its current condition.”

Homesteading Builds Momentum as a Way to Save Neighborhoods

Community homesteading programs encourage individuals and families to purchase, renovate, and reside in vacant and dilapidated homes by offering a financial incentive (e.g. loan, grant, tax break, or other monetary benefit). Potential benefits include:

  • Rehabilitation of vacant and dilapidated homes;
  • Rebuilding the tax base;
  • Economic diversification through sector development;
  • Substantial return on investment.

West Virginia delegates introduced a bill to create a homesteading pilot program during the 2016 legislative session. While the bill died, there’s a possibility it could be reintroduced next year, and interest is certainly building. This article highlights different examples of the forms a successful homesteading program can take from around the region. Click here for the full story.

Missed it? Get the Webinar Recording – Funding for Blight Removal Through the AHP

In case you missed last Wednesday’s informative webinar on acquiring funding for blight removal through the Affordable Housing Program, you can find a recording of it and download slides at the Redevelopment Expert Exchange website (click here).

Learn How your Community Can Alleviate Blight while Creating Affordable Housing in Your Community. AHP Opens June 6 with Approximately $23 Million in Funding. The 2016 funding round of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) will open on Monday, June 6, with approximately $23 million in available funding.

Laura Rye presented past successful projects and discussed key scoring and feasibility issues. 2016 AHP applications are due on Thursday, Aug. 11. The awarded projects will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 15. Early application planning will help your application be more competitive for funding.

redevelopment exchange

Webinar: Funding Blight Removal through Affordable Housing Program

Join the WV Redevelopment Collaborative for the May Redevelopment Expert Exchange Webinar to learn how Affordable Housing funding can be used to fight blight in your community!

Click here to register.

Date: Wednesday, May 18
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Learn How your Community Can Alleviate Blight while Creating Affordable Housing in Your Community. AHP Opens June 6 with Approximately $23 Million in Funding. The 2016 funding round of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) will open on Monday, June 6, with approximately $23 million in available funding.

Laura Rye will present past successful projects and discuss key scoring and feasibility issues. 2016 AHP applications are due on Thursday, Aug. 11. The awarded projects will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 15. Early application planning will help your application be more competitive for funding.

redevelopment exchange

Huntington Native Pushes for Community Improvement

Architect and Huntington native Phoebe Patton Randolph wants to see improvements to her hometown. As a founding member of Create Huntington and the Huntington Mid-Range Housing Team, Randolph advocates for reinvestment in the city, including addressing the need for quality housing and diverse neighborhoods. She is positive about recent developments, such as the city’s new vacant property registry.

“The housing market is not bad,” she said. “Houses are selling. What we are trying to do is raise the quality of the properties bought and sold, and still have it be affordable and accessible for people.”

Click here for the full story. 

Have You Explored Our Tools Section Lately?

Need to contact a property owner about a problem property and not sure where to start? Looking to demolish or deconstruction a property? What about starting a beautification program? Browse the many tools on this website based on your project type, including:

  • Mobilize community and develop inventory
  • Reuse a property
  • Prevent blight
  • Develop a beautification program
  • Analyze maps and data
  • Build your partnership network

Or, click here to find a full list of the tools offered through wvbadbuildings.org.

Why Historic Preservation Districts Are Crucial to Cities

Some economists blame historic preservation districts for the affordable housing crisis that many U.S. communities face, suggesting that they thwart attempts to achieve denser neighborhoods that can provide housing for more people. This article by Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, argues that this view is deeply flawed, and highlights several ways preservation can actually offer solutions to the affordable housing situation. Click here for the full story. 

WV Project Highlight: New Facade Unveiling at Staats Hospital in Charleston

Using funding from West Side Main Street, Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, the Charleston Area Alliance, and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, developer Crawford Holdings recently unveiled the newly restored historic façade of the iconic Staats Hospital building, which sat vacant and dilapidated for years on Charleston’s West Side. This is the first major milestone on a project that will bring housing and retail opportunities to the West Side. Click here for the full story.