Huntington delegation selected to attend housing seminar at Harvard

Updated 5 years ago From Press Release
Huntington delegation selected to attend housing seminar at Harvard
File Photo from Community Progress Leadership Institute

HUNTINGTON – A delegation of public officials and development leaders from Huntington has been selected to attend a prestigious seminar at Harvard University in March that will focus on strategies for the productive reuse and revitalization of vacant, abandoned properties.

The 2014 Community Progress Leadership Institute is a four-day seminar conducted by the Center for Community Progress, a nationwide, nonprofit organization that examines ways to eliminate dilapidated structures and put the properties back to productive use.

Acceptance into the Institute is a competitive process. Only nine communities were selected to attend the seminar March 18-21 at Harvard Law School.

The seminar at Harvard will cover training in the components of a community stabilization strategy, including market analysis, code enforcement, tax foreclosure reform, land banking and land reuse planning; an examination of state policy issues and strategies; effective leadership skills that can meet the challenges of unlocking the value of vacant land; and networking with peers from across the country.

Following training at the seminar, the Community Progress Leadership Institute will provide follow-up support to members of the delegation through invite-only webinars with content developed to address key issues. They also will participate in roundtable discussions, workshops and peer exchanges throughout the year.

Mayor Steve Williams said that Huntington’s acceptance to the Leadership Institute is another example of the city using innovative approaches to tackle vacant, abandoned housing issues. He cited the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority’s Land Bank and legislative reform that ensures fire insurance proceeds are used to remove dilapidated eyesores as work that already has been accomplished.

“We have taken so many constructive steps with our housing challenges that we are receiving recognition across the country,” Williams said. “Acceptance to the Institute shows that our work thus far gives us the ability to stand on a national stage and share information with other innovative communities.”
Members of the delegation include:

 Cathy Burns, president and CEO of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Michele Craig, executive director of the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission.
 Bruce Decker, founder and owner of Collective Impact, a capacity-building consulting firm.

 Brandon Dennison, a social entrepreneur with the Coalfield Development Corp., which focuses on sustainable deconstruction of abandoned buildings.

 Larry Ellis of the Huntington Housing Authority.

 Charles Holley, director of development and planning for the City of Huntington.

 Phoebe Patton Randolph, an architect with Edward Tucker Architects and active community organizer.

 Christal Perry, project manager and chief administrator for the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority.

 Huntington Mayor Steve Williams.

 Cabell County Commissioner Anne Yon, who also is real estate manager for First State Bank and a licensed Realtor.

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