Land banks have tremendous potential to revitalize communities, but not all states properly support them. This one does.

On June 2, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that nearly $26 million in community revitalization grant funding had been awarded to 24 Land Banks across the state.

The funding, made available through the state’s Land Bank Initiative, will help eliminate blight, increase housing supply, assist local economic revitalization efforts, spur the availability of homeownership opportunities, and boost the quality of life in communities that have experienced disinvestment.

New York’s Land Bank Initiative has already allowed us to preserve, restore, and revitalize rundown properties across the state, and we are excited to be extending the opportunity this year,” Governor Hochul said.

This program will empower local nonprofits – the people that know their communities best – to help increase homeownership while repairing the fabric of their neighborhoods,” she added.

The new awards announced complement Governor Hochul’s $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York State, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.

The grants were awarded on a competitive basis through a Request for Applications issued by New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

The funds are drawn from $50 million allotted for the Governor’s Land Bank Initiative in the Fiscal Year 2023 New York State Budget.

In the summer of 2022, HCR awarded operational funding to 26 land banks in Phase I of the initiative.

These Phase II awards will provide capital funding for acquisition, demolition, building stabilization and pre-development expenses.

New York’s land banks were established in 2012 with passage of the New York State Land Bank Act. Land banks are local public authorities designed to acquire, stabilize, assemble, and facilitate the redevelopment of blighted and abandoned properties in order for them to be returned to productive use.

There are currently 26 land banks across the state.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “This $26 million investment will allow local organizations to invest in their communities by turning blight into opportunity that encourages redevelopment and boosts the tax base for the benefit of all. These awards build upon the $15 million in operating funds that we awarded to land banks last year. The Governor’s Land Bank Initiative recognizes that art of creating and preserving affordable communities is never a one-size-fits-all process, but requires step-by-step dedication to building healthier, safer, more livable, and affordable neighborhoods.

The new Phase II Land Bank Initiative grants are:

Capital Region

Albany County Land Bank Corporation: $1,800,000

Capital Region Land Bank: $1,757,475

Troy Community Land Bank Corporation: $1,764,769

Central New York

Oswego County Land Bank Corporation: $1,000,000

Greater Syracuse Land Bank: $1,800,000

Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank: $332,640

Rochester Land Bank Corporation: $900,000

Tioga County Land Bank: $900,000

Wayne County Regional Land Bank: $1,000,000

Long Island

Nassau County Land Bank: $129,400

Suffolk County Landbank: $360,000

Mid-Hudson Region

Kingston City Land Bank: $1,800,000

Newburgh Community Land Bank: $1,800,000

Sullivan County Land Bank: $1,800,000

Mohawk Valley

Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank: $1,800,000

North Country

Ogdensburg Land Bank: $210,357

Southern Tier

Broome County Land Bank: $1,074,600

Chemung County Property Development Corporation: $343,878

Steuben County Land Bank: $554,400

Western New York

Allegany County Land Bank Corporation: $373,800

Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation: $1,694,825

Cattaraugus County Land Bank: $90,000

Chautauqua County Land Bank: $1,217,196

Niagara Orleans Regional Land Improvement Corporation: $900,000

The next RFA for Phase II capital funding is expected in late 2023.

Photo courtesy of Greater Syracuse Land Bank.

See New York State Homes and Community Renewal website.

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