Blight Fighters Tout Impact of New York Land Banks

A piece in recently highlights the work that NY Land Banks have done in the five years since land banks were first created in New York.  You can find the full piece by Rachel Dovey, here.

“This significant market imbalance of supply and demand for housing is a key reason why many New York communities have wrestled with large inventories of problem properties for decades,” the report states. “And it’s under these weak housing market conditions when other barriers and challenges, legal and functional, become more obvious and onerous.”

Through the first 10 land banks created, 1,989 “problem properties” have been acquired. Of those properties, 651 have been sold to private individuals or nonprofit partners, 482 unsafe or dilapidated properties have been razed, and 400 structures have been renovated or stabilized. Cumulatively, those land banks have leveraged about $77 million in private investment and returned $28.4 million to local tax rolls.

But the report emphasizes that those dollar signs don’t paint a complete picture of just how much revitalization land banks add to community value. That goes back to all those public and private costs, in safety and neighborhood value.