Charles Touhey, chairman of the Albany County Land Bank's board of directors, writes in today's Albany Times Union:
"Statewide, New York's 23 land banks have leveraged more than $75 million in private investment, renovated more than 400 structures, sold more than 650 properties, and demolished more than 480 blighted structures.
However, there is no adequate funding available for New York land banks beyond the end of 2018. Land banks need adequate and reliable funding to address the significant challenge of vacant properties facing our communities.
The most successful land banks in the nation have secured recurring, adequate and predictable public funding.
With a comparable funding model, New York could bolster the state's already impressive network of land banks (already one of the largest and most active in the U.S.), reverse decades of decline, restore communities, and become the national model for combating blight and improving neighborhoods.
There is still time for our elected representatives to incorporate funding for land banks into the state budget."