More than 1,000 urban, suburban, and rural leaders gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin May 15-18 for the Center of Community Progress’s eighth Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference (RVP), the only national conference of its kind. RVP explores the latest strategies to address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties, providing space to showcase innovation and creating a forum in which new ideas can arise. It brings people together around these common challenges and gives them tools to return home and affect real, on-the-ground change.
Themed “Groundswell: Rising to the Challenge,” the eighth RVP celebrated the growing movement of people dedicated to revitalizing distressed communities and explored ways to harness that energy to tackle the difficult fiscal and policy challenges facing our communities today.
Cuyahoga Land Bank President and General Counsel Gus Frangos served on a panel discussion on Property Disposition Strategies that Help Rather than Harm Communities. Decisions related to disposition methods, timing, or pricing can play a critical role in stabilizing low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and this session promoted responsible disposition methods.
Lilah Zautner, Manager of Special Projects and Land Reuse, and Vatreisha Nyemba, Compliance and Program Development Manager, served on a panel titled Block Clubs, Bikers, and Baptists: The Power of Grassroots Leaders to Stabilize Communities. The session highlighted the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s best practices in harnessing the strengths of non-traditional community development partners to provide quality housing for special populations, stabilize weak markets, protect culturally and environmentally valuable property, and assemble land. Lilah also participated in a panel discussion on creating long-term community assets through a comprehensive approach to greening.