Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a law allowing municipalities to create land banks to convert vacant properties into uses that support community revitalization.
Land banks are local entities authorized to take control and redevelop vacant or abandoned properties to where they can better serve the public interest. With many Upstate municipalities suffering from an overabundance in vacant and abandoned properties due to population losses, land banks will give cities and counties a new tool to rebuild communities and foster local economic development.
"Land banks will finally give local authorities the much-needed ability to take community redevelopment into their own hands," Governor Cuomo said. "Abandoned buildings and properties have brought blight and desolation to many communities. This legislation will allow for new economic development projects and improve neighborhoods across New York state. I included the creation of land banks in my urban agenda as a way to help transform our struggling urban communities. I thank Senator Valesky, Assemblyman Hoyt, and the Legislature for their attention to this issue and working to pass this bill."
The new law will allow cities and counties to create and administer land banks to convert vacant, abandoned or tax-delinquent properties into productive use. These properties could be redeveloped or resold to better balance the supply of buildings with the local demand for them. The land banks will operate under the New York State Urban Development Corporation.
Governor Cuomo's Regional Councils will also benefit from the creation of land banks because it will create an inventory of land that the councils can use when developing their plans.
Senator David Valesky said, "Abandoned and vacant properties create a host of problems in upstate cities and today we have a solution that will let localities undertake projects to recreate these properties into serving the needs of their community. Governor Cuomo has many times traveled to communities across Upstate New York to discuss the need for economic revitalization and I applaud his decision to sign this historic legislation as it will put in place an important tool to improve villages and towns across this state."
Former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt said, "Other states have seen the value of using land banks to convert dilapidated properties and rebuild communities, and New York is much better off with this new law. This signing is a win-win for homeowners, businesses, and all New Yorkers, and will improve the quality of life and raise property values in many Upstate neighborhoods. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill, and I am looking forward to working alongside him as we bring jobs and economic development to New York state."