Vacancy — of both homes and land — was once considered mostly a concern of the nation’s Rust Belt, where decades of population decline left some industrial cities scrambling to protect their remaining residents from the side effects of disinvestment. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, however, Americans nationwide are finding vacancy a much more immediate and pervasive problem. Building on the current issue of Evidence Matters this update will consider vacancy from various perspectives and examine the work that communities are doing to limit or reverse its negative effects. The panel will discuss land banks that assemble parcels of land and maintain vacant properties until the land can be returned to productive use. In addition short-term uses such as stores, parks, and art projects that bring vibrancy to otherwise blighted spaces will be discussed.

Event details:

  • Hear the latest on the housing markets;
  • Learn about the causes and consequences of vacancy and the efforts of governments and nonprofits to understand and alleviate the problem;
  • Find out about approaches for managing vacant land—land banks and temporary use strategies;
  • Ask questions of knowledgeable researchers and practitioners.

Keynote address will be given by Congressman Dan Kildee who was instrumental in creating the Genesee County Land Bank, which has helped prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes, and in founding the Center for Community Progress.

Followed by a Panel Discussion with:

  • Yolanda Chavez, Moderator, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development
  • Alan Mallach, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress
  • Terry Schwarz, Director of Kent State University's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
  • Kim Graziani , Vice President and Director of National Technical Assistance, Center for Community Progress

Additional Information

Thursday, April 10, 2014
2:00-4:00 PM
Brooke-Mondale Auditorium
HUD Headquarters


View the Webcast
View the Webcast
PD&R Quarterly Housing Update

Read The Edge Article