12 Cities Selected For Vacant Property Leadership Institute Training

The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Center for Community Progress have selected 12 US cities to participate in their Vacant Property Leadership Institute (VPLI) training program. The program is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The four-day program will take place early next year and is designed to provide city leaders with the skills and tools needed to address vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties in order to benefit their communities.  VPLI will focus on how to operationalize equitable development practices to remedy vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration (VAD) and return buildings and land to productive use. Daata and market analysis, delinquent tax enforcement reform, strategic code enforcement, and land banking will be explored.

The cities were selected through a competitive, two-round application process. They include rural, suburban, and urban communities yet face similar challenges – such as high rates of vacancy, faulty mortgage foreclosure processes, tax delinquency, ineffective property maintenance systems, and other issues. Criteria for selection includes demonstrating strong leadership, a commitment to racial equity, and representing unique opportunities for developing new solutions to handling vacant, abandoned, and other problem properties.

The cities will be:

  • College Park, GA;
  • Perry, GA;
  • South Fulton, GA;
  • Chicago, IL;
  • Decatur, IL;
  • Kankakee, IL;
  • Peoria, IL;
  • Rockford, IL;
  • Louisville, KY;
  • Winchester, KY;
  • Milwaukee, WI; and
  • Racine, WI.

“NLC is proud to partner with the Center for Community Progress to support twelve cities in the development of equitable neighborhood development strategies,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities.  “The Vacant Property Leadership Institute will serve as a unique opportunity for the participating cities to learn sustainable strategies that are centered in racial equity and contribute to the eradication of inequities within local infrastructure.”