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NORLIC Receives Grant to Study Distress in Lockport Neighborhoods

by Niagara County Public Information Office
Fri, Jan 5th 2024 03:00 pm

The City of Lockport and the Niagara Orleans Regional Land Improvement Corporation (NORLIC)—often referred to as the Land Bank—have received a technical assistance grant from the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress) to conduct an assessment of the issue of vacant, abandoned, and distressed properties in the community. The study will examine the challenges these properties present and identify solutions specific to the City of Lockport. Funded by General Motors, the grant covers the full costs of Community Progress committing up to 150 hours to the assessment.   

Community Progress is the only national nonprofit dedicated to tackling vacant properties. Since 2010, their team has delivered customized, expert guidance to leaders in over 300 communities to help return properties to productive use. 

“With generous support from General Motors, Community Progress looks forward to working with the City of Lockport and NORLIC to identify challenges presented by residential problem properties and help design and implement programmatic and policy solutions to more effectively address their negative impacts,” said Tarik Abdelazim, Director of National Technical Assistance at Community Progress. “Preventing and resolving existing vacant properties will reduce safety hazards, save tax dollars, and improve neighborhood health. We’re excited to be a resource to the leadership at the City and the Land Bank.” 

                Matthew Chavez, Project Manager for NORLIC, said this is an exciting opportunity to work with Community Progress and the City of Lockport to address neighborhood distress and return abandoned properties back to productive use. 

“Community Progress brings a vast amount of experience in dealing with the issue of vacant properties and distressed neighborhoods. The challenges Lockport faces are familiar to them,” said Chavez. “Community Progress has done this work across the country and supported more than 40 land banks and communities right here in New York. We at the Land Bank are thrilled to be able to work with these national experts at no cost to support Lockport’s leaders, residents, and neighborhoods.” 

The focus/scope of the assessment—addressing vacancy and disinvestment and supporting neighborhood revitalization—will be designed, in partnership with City leadership, based on the needs and priorities of the Lockport community. The project will start in February 2024 and conclude by May. 

“Neighborhood revitalization is a top priority for my administration and that begins with addressing the issue of vacant and abandoned properties,” said City of Lockport Mayor John Lombardi.  “I look forward to working with Community Progress and NORLIC to develop a plan on how we move forward.” 

To learn more about Community Progress, visit www.communityprogress.org