Housing Advocates Release a Comprehensive Anti-Blight Toolkit for Pennsylvania


September 11, 2014

WHAT:  On Monday at 10am, Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania and dozens of housing advocates from throughout central Pennsylvania participated in an event to mark the release of “Blight to Bright: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Pennsylvania,” a new, data-driven manual that identifies key strategies to eradicate the harmful effects abandoned, blighted properties have on communities.

After conducting an exhaustive review of best practices and successful strategies that have been deployed throughout the state, the Housing Alliance  presented their findings to event participants.

Among the strategies discussed were  tools to enhance strategic code enforcement with a progressive discipline approach, which involves applying increased pressure on vacant property owners by issuing citations before complaints are made instead of waiting until problems grow.

Also discussed was the importance of land banking, or the creation of separate legal entities that are public agencies with private organization characteristics – designed specifically to act in real estate markets to convert problematic properties to beneficial reuse.



Eric Papenfuse, Mayor, City of Harrisburg

Liz Hersh, Executive Director, Housing Alliance of PA

Peter Zug, Executive Director, Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, PA DCED

Brian Hudson, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

Karen Black, Principal, May 8th Consulting & Author

Dave Patton, Deputy Director of Codes, Bureau of Codes, City of Harrisburg

Jackie Parker, Director, Department of Buildings, City of Harrisburg

Bryan Davis, Executive Director, Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority


The Harrisburg City Hall Atrium

The Martin L. King, Jr. City Government Center

10 North Second Street, Harrisburg 17101



10:00 – 11:30am: Monday, September 15



Curtis Blessing                                                                                                                                   (215) 735-6760

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