Creating Land Banks in Your Community

Legal Compliance Resource
December 2, 2013 — 1,123 views  

Vacant and abandoned properties can create problems by reducing the value of the surrounding homes and degrading the aesthetics of the neighborhood. These holdings stay underutilized for a number of reasons, like high demolition and redevelopment costs, complex title issues, and a weak market. One successful plan of action to fight these difficulties is the development of a land bank. The Land banks are banks whose sole aim is to provide loans for the purchase of land, especially for farmers. These land banks are not your traditional financial institutions, as they are public or community owned entities and are created by adoption of a regulation. They acquire, maintain and manage uninhabited and vacant properties.

Purpose of Land Banks

Although land banks have limited power, they can carry out the following activities regarding abandoned properties:

  1. Extinguish and discharge claims and tax liens of participating territories and file court actions to get a clear title for one or more holdings.
  2. Construct, demolish, develop and rehabilitate holdings.
  3. Acquire properties by lease-purchase agreement, tax foreclosure, donation, purchase or transfer from a redevelopment authority or municipality.
  4. Lease, transfer, mortgage or sell properties.
  5. Make joint ventures, partnerships and other cooperative relationships with a redevelopment authority, municipalities and other private and government entities.
  6. Buy foreclosed holdings at judicial sales, providing the land bank a clear and free title to the holdings

How Land Banks can improve your Neighborhood?

Land banks were created for the purpose of solving the problem of abandoned properties. The primary purpose of having these banks is to improve your neighborhood. Land banks help the neighborhood in the following ways:

  1. They will help make your neighborhood sustainable and pleasant by transforming blight into new uses.
  2. Help in making innovative use of vacant land.
  3. Clear land for parks and urban nurseries.
  4. Make way for a consistent process for getting government owned land.
  5. Make the process of transfer of land and properties more transparent and accountable with the feeding of data into a single database.
  6. Attract more and more people into moving in which helps in the growth of the neighborhood.
  7. Help the business establishments to obtain land at a fair price.
  8. Encourage the public to pay their property taxes honestly and on time and also help in financing new educational institutions to come up.
  9. As anti-social elements make full use of the abandoned buildings and use it as a safe haven, the land banks lower the crime rate by taking control of such places.
  10. These banks also ensure that the legal owners of abandoned properties are held accountable for maintaining their property and force them to pay their taxes on time.

So you can see how these land banks have revolutionized the process of getting rid of unpleasant and abandoned properties in an otherwise beautiful neighborhood. Land banks have to be given a lot of importance so as to keep away from all the unwanted attention that a crumbling neighborhood gets from unfriendly people.

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