Lafayette Consolidated Government joins the local
governments of Atlanta, Georgia and Butte-Silver Bow, Montana as the inaugural
recipients of the Center for Community Progress’ new, blight-fighting Technical
Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP). Through TASP, the Center for Community
Progress, a national nonprofit, will help these cities develop new strategies
to address property blight, vacancy and abandonment.
Atlanta, Butte-Silver Bow, and Lafayette were chosen through
a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process. Through the application process, each city requested assistance
in one or more of TASP’s key issue areas, which include topics such as tax
collection and enforcement reform, data and information systems, and vacant
land maintenance and reuse strategies.
Each city will
receive up to 200 hours of reduced-cost assistance from a team of experts.
Technical assistance will take place throughout the remainder of 2014 and may
include, for example, staff training sessions, property data analysis, or
tailored reports with recommended changes.
interested in developing a unified geographic information system (GIS)-based
property and market database, making it easy to understand what is happening on
the ground, at the parcel level, all across the city. Community Progress will
assess the Lafayette Consolidated Government’s current property data tracking
processes and identify opportunities for improvement.
“Lafayette is thankful and excited to be a recipient of a Technical
Assistance Scholarship from the Center for Community Progress,” said Kevin
Blanchard, Chief Development Officer of Lafayette Consolidated Government. “Our
comprehensive plan calls for a renewed effort to deal with problem, blighted,
and adjudicated properties. This puts us on the right path towards resolving a
problem that is holding our neighborhoods back.”
City-Parish Council Vice-Chair Kenneth P. Boudreaux, District 4 issued
this statement in support of the grant: “I commend the efforts of LCG Planning
Department and The CDO. As a representative of a community which is greatly
impacted by these properties, I remain encouraged that we will one day see
growth, development and the re-institution of commerce in these areas. It has
always been my desire that the interest of land owners be protected in whatever
process we create. The only way to accomplish this would be to have accurate,
current and applicable data. This grant will afford us that opportunity. I look
forward to continue work on behalf of our citizens on this very important
“Adjudicated properties have been one of my most frustrating roadblocks
as City-Parish President. I commend our planning staff for continuing to work
towards innovative solutions and seek assistance to help move these properties
back into commerce and off the backs of government and taxpayers,” said
City-Parish President Joey Durel.
The grant will
provide similar work in the other two locations. In Atlanta, Community Progress
will work with staff at the City of Atlanta and the Fulton County/City of
Atlanta Land Bank on using delinquent property tax enforcement systems and
housing and building codes to strengthen municipal responses to blight, vacancy
and abandonment in distressed neighborhoods.
In Butte-Silver Bow, work will focus on how code enforcement can be
strategically deployed and on finding new ways that the merged city-county
government can promote collaboration across departments to support historic
preservation, well-maintained buildings and stable neighborhoods.
About Center for Community Progress and the TASP Program
Since its founding in 2010, the Flint, Michigan-based Center for
Community Progress has provided technical assistance to more than 100
communities across 22 states. Community Progress launched TASP in early 2014 in
response to two needs: first, the need to provide individual cities with
affordable, high-quality guidance in the fight to remediate blighted, vacant
properties, and second, the need to develop fresh approaches to blight that
could become models other cities will learn from.
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