Vacant Property Working Group (VPWG), a program of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), is a collaboration of non-profit, community-based organizations, financial institutions and other stakeholders who have an interest in eliminating blight and revitalizing communities.

Problem Statement:

Land is a finite resource – we know what we have, where it is and how much there is – and we cannot keep up with the pace of abandonment and deterioration.

Mission:

To enable the revitalization of all land in the Greater Pittsburgh Area

 

Vision Statement:

The City of Pittsburgh and its greater MSA has unlocked the potential of its land-both public, private and that of unknown ownership-so that the systems, policies, programs, and resources exist which provide for a diverse array of opportunities for future use that result in increased market values and enhanced quality of life for our residents and visitors

The objective is to identify economic development policies, programs and resources that are necessary for neighborhood based redevelopment. The program works collectively towards the eradication of vacant and nuisance properties within the neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

VPWG Chairperson: Aggie Brose
VPWG Staff: Bethany Davidson and Ed Nusser

Read about the State of Blight in the Region!

Nobody’s Home

The Rise of Vacancy

In a series of articles, Pittsburgh TODAY takes an in-depth look at the quiet crisis of vacancy and blight in southwestern Pennsylvania, the state and the nation, reporting on the people and places affected, its social and financial impacts, the antiquated strategies that have failed to stem the growing problem and the innovative solutions that offer hope.

2014 Meeting Schedule

Vacant Property Working Group-Meets 2nd Friday every month 9-11am PCRG Offices and is open to all community groups and their partners in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County
January 10th, 2014 July 11th, 2014
February 14th, 2014 **
March 14th, 2014 September 12th, 2013
April 11th, 2014 October 10th, 2011
May 9th, 2014 November 7th, 2014
June 13th, 2014 December 12th, 2014

**No meeting held in August

Activities:

  • Coordinate Treasurer’s Sale and Property Reserve
  • Incremental improvement of existing land recycling processes on local level
  • Regularly convene table of stakeholders advancing the Working Group Mission/Vision
  • Educate:
    *Community Agencies on how-to use land recycling mechanisms
    *Other stakeholders on their role/interaction with Land Recycling and Revitalization in the Greater Pittsburgh area
  • Advocate with Elected Leadership on Blight Reduction, Tax Reform, Land Use and other Land-centric policies
  • Identify neighborhood training needs and (partner)host trainings that meet those needs
  • Expand relationships to open land acquisition options up for neighborhood-based groups and city partners
  • Work with Lending institutions on disposition of REO portfolios
  • Engage City Agencies on blight reduction programming
  • Provide access to information not readily available to the general public

Current Topics (of VPWG. For more information, see the VPWG Members Area)

Services

The Vacant Property Working Group (VPWG) concentrates on two areas of programming: public policy development and real estate acquisition. Organizations participating in VPWG focus groups and monthly meetings are given the opportunity to provide comments to public officials and develop innovative solutions associated with property recycling.

The Vacant Property Working Group provides a variety of technical assistance opportunities for participating organizations. Assistance ranges from information transfer between group members to facilitating the acquisition of tax delinquent real estate through government tax sales. Through collective problem solving and the facilitation of property information, the Vacant Property Working Group helps communities create and implement effective neighborhood redevelopment strategies.

Service area

Because the policy issues associated with blighted communities often extends across boundaries, Vacant Property Working Group creates a policy development forum available to all communities in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. This allows for a collaborative process and the sharing of ideas and information. While the policy group consists of a larger geographic agenda, property-recycling services are focused solely on community organizations inside the city of Pittsburgh.

Partners

Nearly 50 organizations work with VPWG on an ongoing basis, sharing information, assisting with project development or seeking input from community members. Our partners include community organizations, faith-based entities, government agencies, financial institutions, universities and other community stakeholders.