Land Bank reports significant progress

Albany County Land Bank posts record year

ALBANY (Oct. 16, 2017) — Three years after it was established, the Albany County Land Bank has grown into the second most active land bank in New York State.

The County Land Bank announced a record year in its annual report released last week, saying it had made significant progress in preserving, stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods throughout Albany County from July 2016 through June 2017. By nearly every metric, the non-profit’s accomplishments grew over previous years, Executive Director Adam Zaranko said.

The Land Bank sold 73 properties — more than triple the number sold the preceding operating year — and enabled a total of more than $2.5 million in assessed value to return to the tax rolls of eight Albany County communities. The Land Bank also invested $1.2 million into property improvements and leveraged more than $3 million in additional private investment, primarily in the City of Albany. You can review the full report here.

From left to right: Legislator Christopher Higgins, Majority Leader Frank Commisso, Charles Touhey, chairman of the Albany County Land Bank board, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Deputy Majority Leader Lucille McKnight and Legislator Paul Miller.

“It’s been a really successful year for the Albany County Land Bank, underlined by a high-profile visit from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,” Albany County Legislature Majority Leader Frank Commisso said, referring to Schneiderman’s March visit to announce nearly $21 million in funding to land banks. There are now 21 in New York.

The Albany County Land Bank receives grants from the state and Albany County. The funding supports property demolitions, acquisitions, stabilizations, lot improvements and renovation projects. The Albany County 2018 Budget contains an additional $250,000 for the County Land Bank, bringing the County’s total financial commitment to the organization to $2 million.

Additional work and funding are required to reverse decades of disinvestment and inequitable banking practices, Zaranko said. But the Albany County Land Bank’s annual report shows the Land Bank has been successful in fulfilling its central mission: repairing abandoned properties and selling them to private owners. Such sales can reduce costs to local governments and decrease the burden on Albany County taxpayers. You can donate or volunteer at the Land Bank by visiting its website here.

The Albany County Legislature’s Democratic Majority founded the County Land Bank in 2014. The legislative intent is listed below:

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