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Solutions for Mitigating Neighborhood Blight: Innovations and Policy Strategies (Webinar)

In a number of cities across the country, neighborhood revitalization has been stymied by the impact of blight. Whether it’s in the form of abandoned properties, houses in severe disrepair, or vacant homes, blight is a major cause of what’s become known as the “appraisal gap”—the situation in which the cost of rehabilitating a home is greater than the home’s post-construction value. The appraisal gap can hamper the recovery of a city’s housing market and also foster a favorable environment for bottom-feeding investors, who build up large rental portfolios by buying up foreclosed homes that were previously owner-occupied.

During the housing crisis, the temporary Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provided gap financing that enabled housing developers to build or rehab a high volume of single-family homes. But what approaches are available to help fill the gap now, post-NSP? 

This Connecting Communities webinar will highlight two innovative programs and a policy strategy that offer working solutions to address the appraisal gap and mitigate the impact of blight, vacancy, and abandonment in distressed communities across the country.

Speakers:

  • Kim Graziani, Vice President and Director of National Technical Assistance for the Center for Community Progress, will provide a national perspective on neighborhood blight and its contributing factors.
  • Steve Lockwood, Executive Director of Frayser Community Development Corporation in Memphis, Tenn., will share his organization’s “Tipping Point” analysis, which shows that when working in the right areas, Frayser CDC increased surrounding home values $6 for every $1 it invested in fighting blight. That, in turn, will produce a 12 percent return on investment, in terms of increasing local property tax revenues.
  • Krysta Pate, Program Director for Detroit Home Mortgage, will discuss a new program her organization designed to address the appraisal gap in a scalable manner, increase homeownership, and promote reinvestment in the city’s neighborhoods.
  • Matt Josephs, Senior Vice President of LISC, will describe how Home by Hand, a New Orleans nonprofit housing developer, is leading a national policy effort to create The Neighborhood Home Tax Credit, a federal affordable homeownership tax credit that will provide a new stream of equity investment for developing and renovating one- to four-unit family housing in distressed neighborhoods.

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