In June, the Center for Community Progress released Land Banks and Land Banking, authored by co-founder and General Counsel Frank Alexander. The text offers public officials and community leaders a step-by-step guide for taking control of problem properties and then leveraging them to spur smart development and meet community needs.
Alexander argues that land banks have emerged as a key tool in the toolbox of urban planners, especially in response to the mortgage crisis. The land banking strategy of giving communities control of the unused land resources within their borders is, he says, about “creating catalytic opportunities for new development when the private market says it isn’t possible.”
Today there are 79 land banking initiatives across the country, with a number of additional land banking bills up for consideration in state legislatures. Whether the product of the current foreclosure crisis or the remnants of the old economy, the vacant properties now being acquired, developed, restored and/or resold by land banking authorities have already catalyzed millions of dollars in new private investments, including more than $60 million dollars in Flint, Michigan, through the Genesee County Land Bank.
Read or download a copy of the book.