Revitalizing Foreclosed Properties with Land Banks
October 20, 2009
At the forefront of issues affecting today's housing market, foreclosed properties have become a significant problem, not only to local economies, but also to the aesthetics of the area. Moreover, middle- to low-income families continue to be priced out of the housing market while suitable housing units remain vacant. Local governments can enable productive reuse of these properties and simultaneously address the affordable housing crisis by creating public entities known as land banks to acquire, hold, and manage foreclosed properties. This report examines the concept of land banking and discusses barriers and solutions to the successful implementation of land banks. The report contains case studies from the Genesee County Land Bank Authority, the Baltimore City Land Bank, and the Atlanta/Fulton County Land Bank. Each case study provides a detailed description of the land banking programs and their effectiveness in revitalizing declining neighborhoods.