Land Banks

Much news is being generated about land banks. So what are land banks?

They are entities, usually either governmental or nonprofit, that focus on the conversion of vacant, abandoned properties into productive use. Land banking is the practice of aggregating parcels of land for future sale or development. Several states have passed land bank enabling legislation – it’s estimated that 120 land banks exist in the U.S. today – offering local leaders new ways to help reinvent and revitalize neighborhoods challenged by vacancy and blight.

NCST works with nonprofit organizations and state and local governments in our joint pursuit to stabilize communities. Below are resources that provide examples of how important it is to work together to solve the issue of blighted, abandoned homes to revitalize our nation’s neighborhoods.

  • The Center for Community Progress is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring communities have the vision, knowledge, and systems to transform blighted, vacant, and other problem properties into assets supporting neighborhood vitality. They also serve as a resource for local, state and federal policies and best practices that address the full cycle of property revitalization, from blight prevention, through the acquisition and maintenance of problem properties, to their productive reuse. The CCP provides technical assistance to communities nationwide, hosts the national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, and offers numerous other resources and services to help communities transform blighted properties into community assets. For more information, read their FAQ, or their research – “Take it to the Bank: How Land Banks Are Strengthening America’s Neighborhoods.”
  • The HUD website offers many links to various entities and reports that examine the concept of land banking and discuss barriers/solutions to the successful implementation of land banks. There are also links to case studies and other in-depth research.
  • The Detroit Land Bank is a public authority dedicated to returning Detroit’s vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed property to productive use. Their current programs include auction, side lot, community partnership and demolition.
  • The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) is a unit of Cook County government, and will acquire, hold, and transfer interest in real property to: promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant, abandoned, foreclosed or tax-delinquent properties; support targeted efforts to stabilize neighborhoods; stimulate residential, commercial and industrial development – all in ways consistent with goals and priorities established by local government partners and other community stakeholders.
  • The Twin Cities Community Land Bank (TCC Land Bank) supports the creation of vibrant, sustainable homes, neighborhoods, and communities throughout the Twin Cities, Minnesota metropolitan area. TCC Land Bank is designed to operate on a large scale and over a broad geographic area, including the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and the surrounding cities and counties in the seven-county metropolitan area.