College Park Selected to Tackle VPLI

City of College Park Selected to Tackle Vacant Properties at Leadership Institute
Posted on 06/22/2021
City of College Park Selected to Tackle Vacant Properties at Leadership Institute



June 22, 2021 


City of College Park Selected to Tackle Vacant Properties at Leadership Institute


COLLEGE PARK, GEORGIA – The City of College Park is one of twelve cities across four states that have been selected to send a delegation to the 2022 Vacant Property Leadership Institute (VPLI), a training program focused on equipping leaders with the skills to address     vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties for the benefit of their communities. Made   possible through the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, VPLI is a joint initiative of the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) and National League of Cities (NLC). 


The City of College Park is thrilled to have been selected to participate in the 2022 Vacant Property Leadership Institute”, said Bianca Motley Broom, Mayor of the City of College Park, Georgia.  We look forward to working with all of the participant cities to learn innovative new strategies as we continue to build to community we deserve. We thank NLC, the Center for Community Progress and the Wells Fargo Foundation for their support of this initiative and their commitment to the continued health and growth of cities across the United States”.


Delegations from each of the following cities will participate: College Park, GA; Perry, GA; South Fulton, GA; Chicago, IL; Decatur, IL; Kankakee, IL; Peoria, IL; Rockford, IL;   Louisville, KY; Winchester, KY; Milwaukee, WI; Racine, WI. Cities were selected through a competitive, two-round application process.


The City of College Parks participation in the VPLI will help broaden our expertise in addressing absentee property owners in College Park,“ said Artie Jones, III., College Parks Economic Development Director. Taking part in the institute should increase our knowledge base so that we can formulate a strategy regarding property vacancy, abandonment, and cultural differences that exist within our real estate community.”


The selected cities include rural, suburban, and urban communities and range in population from just over 14,000 to over 2.7 million. They also face similar challenges such as faulty   mortgage foreclosure processes, tax delinquency, ineffective property maintenance systems, and other property issues. The City of College Park was selected for VPLI because it      demonstrates strong leadership, is committed to developing new solutions, and represents a unique opportunity to shift the systems responsible for vacant, abandoned, and other problem        properties.


VPLI sessions will address how to operationalize equitable development practices to remedy vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration (VAD) and return buildings and land to productive use. Some of the strategies to be explored include data and market analysis, delinquent tax  enforcement reform, strategic code enforcement, land banking, and more. 


NLC is proud to partner with the Center for Community Progress to support twelve cities in the development of equitable neighborhood development strategies,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities.  “The Vacant Property Leadership     Institute will serve as a unique opportunity for the participating cities to learn sustainable strategies that are centered in racial equity and contribute to the eradication of inequities within local infrastructure.”


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across the country were already faced with daunting challenges in regard to vacant properties and their associated outcomes.” said Dr.   Akilah Watkins, President and CEO of Community Progress. The twelve cities selected to participate in the Leadership Institute each represent a unique opportunity to advance strategies for addressing vacancy in ways which are efficient, effective, and center racial equity. We are excited to provide them free educational programming and tailored technical assistance as they begin the long road to recovery.”


The Vacant Property Leadership institute combines Community Progress’ leading national expertise in helping communities develop efficient, effective, and equitable solutions to vacancy and abandonment with NLCs longstanding history serving the interests of 19,000 cities, towns and villages in the US to build strong communities by expanding capacity, providing in-depth research and tools, and developing and implementing on-the-ground solutions. 

VPLI Training Program.pdf



About Center for Community Progress

Founded in 2010, the Center for Community Progress is the national leader for building strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Today, Community Progress has affected change in more than 48 states and seven countries through leadership education and collaborative systems, policy, and practice reforms. Simply, we work to transform Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”


About National League of Cities 

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of Americas cities, towns, and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy, and drive innovative solutions. Overall, the work of NLC seeks to help mayors, council members and other local elected and appointed leaders build better communities. 


About the Wells Fargo Foundation 

The Vacant Property Leadership Institute is made possible by grant funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation. This grant is part of the Wells Fargo Foundations efforts to keep more than 200,000 people affected by COVID-19 housed with grants to nonprofit housing organizations across the U.S. Overall, the Wells Fargo Foundation has donated over $225 million to assist people and communities affected by COVID-19.


About College Park:

Encompassing 11.1 square miles, College Park is home to the world headquarters of Chick-fil-A, the most traveled airport worldwide in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, and has the largest and one of the most prestigious K-12 private schools in the continental United States – Woodward Academy. College Park has one of Georgias most vibrant historical communities, while the city moves boldly ahead in new technologies and alternative fuel and energy platforms. College Parks progressive mission focuses on economic development, hospitality and entertainment. The city-operated Georgia International Convention Center boasts the largest ballroom in the state of Georgia, in addition to the Gateway Center Arena @ College Park, home to the College Park Skyhawks and the Atlanta Dream.


For more information, contact:

Abi Swanson - Abi.swanson@phase3mc.com