Training & Educational Opportunities

Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization

Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization

While vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties have plagued communities for decades, the economic and social shocks of 2020 brought on by a global pandemic, make the need for coordination and strategic revitalization interventions even more critical.

Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization – a six-part, online education series – focuses on realizing equitable revitalization strategies. The series will equip REALTORS® with the knowledge and skills necessary to meaningfully partner with local government decision makers to address VAD properties. Each session will feature actionable items for REALTORS® and their local government partners to consider.

The series will explore why VAD properties exist and how they affect community stability; how data can guide equitable, effective, and efficient solutions; how to transition VAD properties into assets; and opportunities for building partnerships between REALTORS®, local government, and community stakeholders focused on addressing VAD properties.

Click on the session title to register for each event.

Session 1
Systemic Vacancy: Community Costs and a Pathway Forward

This session analyzed the historic policies that perpetuate vacancy and explored a framework for a systematic approach to addressing the issues.

View The Webinar
Webinar Presentation: Systemic Vacancy: Community Costs and a Pathway Forward

Session 2
Using Data to Identify Opportunities

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Webinar Presentation: Using Data to Identify Opportunities
Additional Resources: Using Data to Identify Opportunities

Austin Harrison, Research Fellow, Innovate Memphis
Danielle Lewinski, Vice President, Center for Community Progress

This session examined why data is critical for understanding local real estate market conditions and building a market-responsive revitalization strategy.

Session 3
Engaging the Community to Develop Equitable Solutions

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Additional Resources: Engaging the Community to Develop Equitable Solutions

Carlton Jackson, Chief Executive Officer for Dayton REALTORS®
Fred Holley, Community Activist, Dayton, Ohio
Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar, Director of National Partnerships for the Center for Community Progress
Sara Toering, Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress

The session explored the important role of residents and other stakeholders in developing a comprehensive and equitable strategy to address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties.

Session 4
Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Code Enforcement Strategies

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Effective, Efficient and Equitable Code Enforcement Strategies
Additional Resources: Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Code Enforcement Strategies

Karen Black, Principal and CEO, May 8 Consulting

This session explored equitable code enforcement, strategies to prevent neighborhood decline, and programs to assist vulnerable homeowners.”

Session 5
Land Banks: A Tool for Recovery and Stabilization


August 17, 2021
2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

Land banks can help resolve some of the toughest barriers that keep properties stuck in decline and assist in reestablishing property markets, stabilizing property values, and returning properties to productive use after sudden shocks or long-term decline. When operating with a strong commitment to equity, land banks can also provide new opportunities for homeowners and communities to thrive.

Session 6
Moving Forward: A Collaborative Approach to Building Equitable Communities


September 21, 2021
2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

During this session, participants will hear a moderated discussion about equitable community revitalization trends. Panelists will include industry thought leaders, practitioners, and municipal leaders.

Liz Kozub

Associate Director of National Leadership and Education

Liz Kozub serves as the Associate Director of National Leadership and Education for the Center for Community Progress.

Prior to joining Community Progress, Liz served as the Assistant Director for the Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments, a multi-municipal agency focused on intergovernmental cooperation and shared services in the Mon Valley of Allegheny County, PA.  In this role, Liz managed community development and infrastructure projects through federal Community Development Block Grants, EPA Brownfield Assessment funding, and other state and local sources. She worked to establish a multi-municipal code enforcement program and oversaw the development of a data system aimed at increasing officer efficiency and effectiveness.  Liz was also a member of the leadership team to form the Tri-COG Land Bank, a multi-municipal, community driven Land Bank.

Liz received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International affairs, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Allegheny College.

Liz is a native of Buffalo, NY, and lives in Wilmington Delaware.

Austin Harrison

Research Fellow, Innovate Memphis

Austin Harrison is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. His research interests include housing policy, neighborhood change, shrinking cities, and community development.

In addition to his Ph.D. research, Mr. Harrison is an active practitioner in the housing and neighborhood arena. Through his own consulting firm, he has worked with nonprofits, local governments, and private developers across the country to implement programs and policies aimed at inclusively revitalizing neighborhoods, developing quality affordable housing, and stabilizing systemically disinvested communities.

He also is a Research Fellow for Innovate Memphis, a local open data intermediary in Memphis, Tennessee focused on applied data analysis and policy research to drive advocacy for neighborhood and housing concerns such as evictions, abandoned property, and local market dynamics.

Austin holds a B.A. in History from Mercer University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Memphis.

Danielle Lewinski

Vice President, Center for Community Progress

Danielle Lewinski serves as Vice President at the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”

Before joining Community Progress, Lewinski served a number of nonprofit organizations in Michigan specifically helping them to understand and assess vacant properties and develop strategies and tools to foster neighborhood revitalization.

Serving as Director of Planning and Technical Programs for Michigan Community Resources, she created and executed the planning and technical assistance offerings of the Detroit Vacant Property Campaign. Through this work, she directed vacant property strategy development, data analysis, and mapping services, ran a vacant property mini-grant program, initiated an unprecedented city-wide parcel survey, and acted as a primary liaison between the civic engagement and technical teams for Detroit Future City, the strategic framework for the city of Detroit. Prior to her work at MCR, Lewinski also supported community development work in Detroit, MI through Focus: HOPE and Pontiac, MI through Lighthouse Community Development.

Lewinski earned a Master of Urban Planning degree and a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in African and African American Studies from Mount Holyoke College.

She is a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council and earned an Executive Scholar Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Carlton Jackson

Chief Executive Officer for Dayton REALTORS®,

Carlton Jackson is the Chief Executive Officer for Dayton REALTORS®, the local trade association for the more than 3,000 REALTORS® in the Dayton area. Jackson brings close to 10 years executive experience with REALTOR® associations, having previously served as Chief Executive Officer for the Iowa City Area Association of REALTORS® in Iowa City, IA.

Prior to his position at the Iowa City Area Association of REALTORS®, Jackson was the Leadership Team Program Manager for the National Association of REALTORS®. He previously spent time working with the United States House of Representatives and was employed in the private sector working in business development.

Jackson is active at both the state and national REALTOR® association levels, having served on numerous committees. Currently he serves on the Governance Game Changer Presidential Advisory Group and the Association Executive Committee. He also holds several prestigious designations within the REALTOR® association industry, including the REALTOR®  Certified Executive (RCE) designation, REALTOR® At Home with Diversity Designation, REALTOR® GREEN designation, REALTOR® e-PRO designation, and is Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsed.

A native of Canandaigua in New York, Mr. Jackson graduated from St. John Fisher College with a B.A. in Political Science. He is married to his wife Kristine and they have a 7-year-old son together.

Sara Toering

Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress

Sara Toering is a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”

Toering currently works with state and local governments and community leaders throughout the country on land banking, code enforcement, tax foreclosure reform and other issues related to neighborhood stabilization, affordable housing policy, and equitable development.

Beginning her career as a tenant organizer in Brooklyn, NY, Toering’s vocation and expertise are focused on addressing inequities resulting from generations of federal, state and local policy that systematically denied wealth and opportunity to communities of color. Toering began her work with Community Progress after several years in practice at a large Atlanta law firm where she litigated a wide range of complex business matters, and also defended men detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and on Georgia’s death row.

Publications include the Georgia Land Bank Resource Manual (June 2013) and Georgia Real Estate Finance & Foreclosure Law, 2019-2020 Edition (Thomson-West, 2019) (with Frank S. Alexander and Sarah Bolling-Mancini.)

Toering received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, a Master’s in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and a B.A. from Calvin College.

Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar

Director of National Partnerships for the Center for Community Progress

Kathy J. Guillaume-Delemar is the Director of National Partnerships for the Center for Community Progress America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”

A 25-year community development and philanthropic leader, Guillaume-Delemar’s award-winning work has helped local and national funders drive meaningful, equitable community impact nationwide. “I’m a believer that relationships lead to results,” says Guillaume-Delemar.

Her experience includes shaping the major gifts pipeline at the Washington Post-acknowledged Miriam’s Kitchen and growing the organizational impact of Jubilee Housing by more than 400 percent. She’s spearheaded a three-year $60 million capital campaign that revitalized affordable housing for more than 700 individuals and architected partnerships with local and federal governments, the Federal Home Loan Banks, Enterprise Community Partners, LISC, and dozens of other influential community development influencers.

Today, Guillaume-Delemar’s fundraising and partnership works impacts more than 300 communities in 48 states and connects more than 1,400 grassroots leaders and revitalization professionals through the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference.

A graduate of Howard University, Guillaume-Delemar’s work has been acknowledged by Bank of America, the National Capital Gift Planning Council, the Tom Joyner Foundation, and others across the United States. Today, she continues to leverage her expertise as a facilitator and passion for racial and social justice to help marginalized communities reverse wealth inequities and preserve culture; including a special, personal focus on Haitians and Haitian-Americans.

Fred Holley

Community Activist, Dayton, Ohio

Fred Holley is a lifelong resident of Dayton, Ohio. He was Director of NCR’s Global IT Procurement Organization and is retired after a 41-year career with the NCR Corporation.

Mr. Holley has always had an avid interest in community work and historic preservation and has restored approximately twenty properties in Dayton’s urban neighborhoods.

Mr. Holley is an active member of many boards and organizations in service of his community. These roles include: President of the Dayton View Historic Association; Vice President of the Salem Avenue Peace Corridor LLC (SAPC), a revitalization initiative addressing the needs of ten neighborhoods that align the Salem Avenue Business Corridor; team member focused on re-visioning the Business Corridor itself; and Chairperson for the City of Dayton Landmarks Commission, an organization he has been active with for the past 25 years. Mr. Holley also serves as Trustee and Board member of Preservation Dayton Inc. (PDI), a 501(c)3 organization whose charter is to preserve Dayton’s historic fabric and significant landmarks and Chairperson of PDI’s newly formed Endangered Properties Committee.

Mr. Holley is also a board member and Treasurer for the Gem City Market, a community owned Co-Op grocery store that will open in Spring of 2021 and will serve an area that has been a food desert for several decades.

He was featured as one of Dayton’s “Daytonians of the Week” in September of 2019 by the Dayton Daily News.

Karen Black

Principal and CEO, May 8 Consulting