An apartment complex in North Carolina generated 120 times as many hospital visits as would have been expected for its population, until a creative coalition forced its sale and worked with the new owner to change things.

Making a Pipeline for Vacant Building Rehab

Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program sparked revitalization block by block with a few key legal powers and partnerships.

Which Agencies Should Pay to End Family Homelessness?

When families have stable housing, the benefits are widespread. And perhaps that has been the problem.

Could Public Art on Utility Boxes Displace Communication?

What's not to like about colorful art on utility boxes? Well, in some places that drab infrastructure might be performing informal community functions...

What Anchor Institutions Can Do by Working Together

Anchor institutions are beginning to realize that they face similar challenges and, by joining forces, can accomplish goals that once seemed out of reach.

Q: Isn’t the foreclosure crisis over?

A: Not for everyone. Even after significant recovery, most of the country still has record high levels of . . .

“You’re Not Colored”: The Story of Two Civil Rights Activists of...

We heard about Ed Nakawatase and Tamio Wakayama's experiences as volunteers with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the American civil rights movement, and the extraordinariness of their witness to the history happening at the time compelled us to pursue a conversation.

Public Land Should be Used for Public Good

When a vacant lot in Oakland was close to becoming the home of a 24-story, market-rate development, local activists worked together to prevent it from happening.

Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? A Review of The Divided...

How different would cities look and how different would people’s lives be if those with the power to set policy and invest resources prioritized the most vulnerable residents and the neighborhoods they live in?
farm stand in lot.

(The Urgent Case for) Middle Neighborhoods, One of the Most Overlooked Assets in America

Middle neighborhoods are places where home prices are generally affordable to the average household. But, these neighborhoods are often on the edge between growth and decline.
drawing of homes in a tree

A Community-Centered Perspective on Displacement

In some communities, diverse economic networks have been and remain critical to the ability of community members to survive and thrive.
The cover of the Winter 2018 edition of Shelterforce magazine.

There’s Opportunity in Vacancy

Thinking of abandoned properties as merely problems we wish would go away feeds into some of the less productive ways vacant properties have been handled.

The Two Vacancy Crises in America’s Cities

Vacant properties are a serious problem in two kinds of neighborhoods. To address them, we need to know which kind we’re looking at.
State policies on everything from taxation to land bank funding can make the difference between a vacant property and a well-care-for property like this one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

State Policies Play a Central Role in the Fight Against Vacant Property

Abandoned and vacant properties seem like a quintessentially local problem. But state policies have a huge effect on how well municipalities can fight it.

How to Fight Vacancy? Do It All

The fight against vacancy in Youngstown, Ohio, shows us that we shouldn’t rely on a single strategy—everything is needed at once.

Transforming Vacant Land Into Community Assets

Vacant land activities can be low cost and high impact; the price of failure is not steep, but the return on investment can be high.

How to Fund Land Banks

The number of land banks grew dramatically in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. So has our understanding of how to successfully fund them.
A once-vacant lot in Philadelphia that has been cleaned.

Greening Vacant Lots: Low Cost, Big Effect in Philly

A Philadelphia program is cleaning up abandoned lots, helping formerly incarcerated residents get jobs, and improving the overall health and well-being of neighborhoods.

The Mission: End Childhood Lead Poisoning in Rochester

In the 1990s, Rochester, New York, had an alarmingly large number of children who had elevated lead levels in their blood. Decades later, the rate has decreased by 85 percent. This is how a local coalition made it happen.