Schneiderman Announces $20.9 Million in Grants for NY Land Banks

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaking at New York Law School. Image credit: CityLaw

Attorney General Schneiderman announces large contribution for Land Banks statewide, nearly doubling total grants. On March 24, 2017, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced $20.9 million in new grants to acquire abandoned properties and rehabilitate them for productive use. The grants were awarded under the Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative to 19 land banks across the State. The $20.9 million brings the total Schneiderman has invested in land banks to $57 million since 2013.

The 2011 New York State Land Bank Act created 10 land banks under the purview of the New York Empire State Development Corporation. That number grew to 20 land banks in 2014. Land banks are not-for-profit corporations created by municipalities to take control and redevelop vacant or abandoned properties to better serve the public interest.

The Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative was established by the Attorney General in 2013 with funding secured through settlements with large banks over misconduct that contributed to the 2008 housing bubble crash. The Initiative helped kick-start and fund these Land Banks statewide.

In November 2016 the Attorney General’s Office released a report on the efforts of the Initiative to date. According to the report, since 2013, 1,995 properties had been reclaimed from abandonment. Of those properties more than 700 were returned to the market and are back in productive use. Unstable structures were demolished on 409 properties, over 100 of those dangerous buildings were in Erie County alone. The report asserts that $19 million in property value was preserved for surrounding homes.

“Communities throughout New York are still suffering the fallout from the housing crisis, and my office will continue to support innovative efforts to help them recover,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “With today’s round of grants, all 19 land banks will build on the significant accomplishments already achieved over the past three years, helping put abandoned properties back into use, revitalizing towns and cities, and creating a safer, more stable, and more vibrant environment for New York’s families.”

The Attorney General announced the following grants:

  • Albany County Land Bank Corporation $1,040,834
  • Broome County Land Bank Corporation $  650,870
  • Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation $1,230,000
  • Capital Region Land Reutilization Corporation $1,700,000
  • Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation $1,110,000
  • Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation $2,000,000
  • Newburgh Community Land Bank  $2,000,000
  • Rochester Land Bank Corporation  $1,500,000
  • Suffolk County Landbank Corporation $1,230,000
  • Troy Community Land Bank $  701,587
  • Allegany County Land Bank $  360,000
  • Cattaraugus County Land Bank $  764,625
  • Finger Lakes Regional Land Bank $  500,000
  • Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank $1,642,800
  • Nassau County Land Bank  $1,210,541
  • Oswego County Land Bank $1,000,000
  • Sullivan County Land Bank $  920,000
  • Chemung County Land Bank $  893,100
  • Steuben County Land Bank  $  500,000

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

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