Tiny Houses Built on Vacant Property Serve Homeless Veterans

In Kansas City, MO, military veterans started a program to build tiny houses on vacant land for struggling and homeless veterans. They formed a nonprofit organization and acquired the property from the Kansas City Land Bank. To build and equip each house costs an estimated $10,000.

“The good news is veteran homelessness is declining thanks to programs like this one.”

Click here for the full story.

Tree Farm Will Sprout on Blighted Urban Land

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.”

WVU Offers Legal Tools to Combat Blight

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: Upcoming WVU Law Clinic Seminar

Interested in expanding your knowledge on legal tools to prevent abandoned and dilapidated buildings in West Virginia? Register for the WV Dilapidated Buildings and Abandoned Properties: From Liability to Viability seminar hosted by the WV Continuing Legal Education and WV College of Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic on Thursday, May 14, 2015 in Charleston, WV.

The seminar is also available live via webcast if you are not physically able to attend.

Topics include the high cost of blight in West Virginia, the real meaning of “home rule”, urban renewal authorities (URAs), land banks, and what to do about out of state landowners.

Click here for more information and to register.