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A house with peeling white paint


#equity #restorative #Social Justice #Vacant Buildings


Valencia Meredith

Established in 2010, the Center for Community Progress (CCP) is a nationwide organization working toward transforming vacant buildings into community assets. At the time of the 2020 census, there were more than 16 million abandoned homes in the United States. The Center for Community Progress understands the underlying complexities of racist and unjust laws, policies, and systemic structures that add to the exodus of housing inhabitants and deteriorating buildings. With the help of their team of former practitioners and policymakers, CCP members work with leaders from all levels to not only revitalize homes but to tackle unfair policies by providing tools and resources, including educating and training their staff on racial equity.

Building stronger coalitions between local non-profits, leaders, and stakeholders to aid in the uplifting of oppressed communities is not just the work of the aforementioned CCP but they are an excellent resource to begin with. Community members who are motivated to improve vacant buildings and land will likely encounter a variety of other challenges to focus on as well, things such as: “land banks” that often hold parcels, property tax systems, neighborhood housing markets, strategic code enforcement, and vacant land stewardship. Despite the complexities, improving blight does have a very positive impact on the community as a whole and is a worthwhile endeavor.