AS A MEMBER organization in a coalition called the Campaign To Take Back Vacant Land, the Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) helped to make the Philadelphia Land Bank a reality. But the Land Bank war is far from over, and in some ways, it’s just beginning.
Currently operating under the guidance of a temporary board of directors, the Philadelphia Land Bank’s eventual mission will be to acquire and sell tens of thousands of disjointed and vacant Philadelphia parcels for development. That’s no small task, given the history of bureaucracy and red tape that has prevented it from happening thus far.
The Land Bank is supposed to streamline the development process, and to do so with a transparent strategic plan that includes goals for affordable housing. Will those goals be met? That remains to be seen. But if the failed goal setting strategy for minority participation on city-funded construction stands as an example, then I remain doubtful.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence Bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com. Click here to learn more about Solomon.