West Virginia land bank has open house to spark revitalization

As part of a new strategy to stoke interest in revitalizing blighted property, the Huntington (West Virginia) Urban Renewal Authority (HURA) Land Bank had its first ever open house on June 26, 2015, at a home in the 2200 block of 10th Avenue.

The event was designed to draw interest from contractors to possibly renovate the home and make it more attractive to prospective buyers.

You look around, this is a cute little neighborhood,” said land bank administrator Christal Perry. “People here are working, they’re out taking their kids on walks. You can see they take care of their lawns. If we can rehab this property and make it someone’s home, that will increase the property value for this entire block.

You can take a house like this, rehab it and it doesn’t have to to be cost prohibitive,” said Valerie Bandell, an Americorps volunteer who works with the land bank. “Not everything has to be (demolished). There is more than one solution.

Since 2009, the land bank has purchased more than 1,000 property liens and has invested more than $2 million into cleaning up urban blight.

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