What is a Land Bank?
The official definition from HUD says:
A land bank is a governmental or non-governmental non-profit entity established, at least in part, to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging re-use or redevelopment of urban property. For the purposes of NSP, a land bank will operate in a specific, defined geographic area. It will purchase properties that have been foreclosed upon and maintain, assemble, facilitate redevelopment of, market, and dispose of the land-banked properties. If the land bank is a governmental entity, it may also maintain foreclosed property that it does not own, provided it charges the owner of the property the full cost of the service or places a lien on the property for the full cost of the service.HUD
Ok, so that’s a lot… but what does it mean exactly?
So while the name makes you think we are talking about land, land banks can maintain, rehabilitate, demolish, and lease or sell property.
This is where our most recent listing in Ballard comes into play.
Land banks can play a number of different roles depending on a community’s development goals. They can provide a mechanism for redevelopment. They can also help a community develop affordable housing. Land banks can also convert properties to other uses such as retail, parks, or open space for flood mitigation.
Land banks are usually in areas with low or declining housing costs. In high-cost neighborhoods like Ballard, land banks serve as a vehicle for holding properties for development.