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Legislation authorizes 10 new land banks

NEW YORK — Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill authorizing ten new land banks in the State of New York:  

Following the collapse of the housing market, the New York State Legislature passed a law in 2011 establishing land banks — nonprofit organizations that can acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties and choose to rebuild, demolish, or redesign them. By restoring vacant or abandoned properties, land banks lower costs for local governments, benefit public schools, reduce crime and boost local economies. However, the legislation that authorized land banks in New York did not provide funding for them.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative to fill that gap and allow the land banks to fulfill their purpose. He has dedicated $33 million to fund that initiative. In February of this year, the Attorney General proposed his program bill to expand the number of land banks from 10 to 20.

Following are the first round of awards through the program, which were announced on October 29, 2013:

  • The Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Bank Corporation was awarded $2.087 million;    
  • The Rochester Land Bank Corporation was awarded $2.78 million;   
  • The Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation was awarded $3 million;    
  • The Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation was awarded $1.5 million;    
  • The Newburgh Community Land Bank was awarded $2.45 million;    
  • The Suffolk County Land Bank Corporation was awarded $675,000;    
  • The Capital Region Land Bank was awarded $150,000; and   
  • The Broome County Land Bank was awarded $150,000.