New “Revitalizing PA” report aims to fight blight

Local News

Fighting blight has been the goal of many communities across Pennsylvania.

A new report is looking at ways communities can turn blighted properties into opportunities.

A new report released today called “Revitalizing Pennsylvania” looks at ways cities across the state have successfully turned around blighted properties and recommends ways others can do the same in the future.

“How do we really create communities where people are proud to live there and want to live there?” said Phyllis Chamberlain, Executive Director for Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania released their “Revitalizing PA” report.

“The report outlines all the successes that local communities are putting into place in regard to strategies to tackle the issue of blight,” said Chamberlain.

Successes, like “Erie Refocused” was the city’s first comprehensive plan in decades.

“You can address a problem property,” said Chamberlain. “And when you show success, you build momentum.”

The “Revitalizing PA” report also highlights strategies and policy recommendations for tackling blight on the local and state level, like including enhanced code enforcement, increased state funding for programs aimed at fighting blight, and attracting more people to invest in distressed communities. The Pennsylvania statewide blight taskforce announced they’ll be adopting those recommendations moving forward.

“Blight is still a pretty big problem,” said Chamberlain. “And we still need to do more. And the fact that that task force will take on the policy agenda is very, very significant.”

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