Long-Term Housing & Market Stabilization: Best Practice Models

Information/Resources | Best Practice Models

Calhoun County Land Bank Authority

A relatively new land bank, the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) was created to manage tax-foreclosed properties and initially acted as a repository for unsold parcels. More recently, the CCLBA’s role has grown as a member of the Michigan Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2) Consortium. Partnering with the City of Battle Creek, staff helped identify target areas in Battle Creek for rehabilitation and demolition projects. The short-term goal is to mitigate the effects of foreclosure by revitalizing core neighborhoods and reducing blight within the city. In the future, Land Bank staff hopes to do similar work in other communities.

For more information, contact Jon at jbartlett@calhouncountymi.gov.

Ingham County Land Bank

In 2011 The Ingham County Land Bank was honored as the Center for Community Progress’s Best Urban Land Bank of the Year. The land bank is dedicated to improving the quality of Ingham County neighborhoods, while strengthening and stabilizing the community. The Land Bank will purchase, renovate and resell multiple properties in a designated area to create attractive purchases for future homeowners and commercial use.

The land bank works in close partnership with its local communities, especially Lansing, to target resources.  Strong areas get more renovation and new construction. Some areas will have more demolition.  A key strategy is to be spending funds in partnership with other programs. The land bank works with the City on NSP1, NSP2, NSP3 and HOME dollars as well as their own investment. This strategic relationship also impacts decisions made by Treasury. The quality of a home or the strength of a neighborhood is a factor in consideration for payment plans and special consideration in the foreclosure process. The auction of tax foreclosed homes is also planned differently in areas of the county based on market strength and positive impact to a block from demolition or renovation versus a sale to a potential landlord.

The Land Bank has developed building plans for new homes working with Lansing and MSHDA. Lots and homes are provided to Habitat to help grow their capacity. The land bank uses land as a resource and plans the best outcome. An auction is usually not the best outcome for a tax foreclosed structure.

Between 2009 and 2010, the number of renovations of land bank properties grew 148%. Although the number of acquisitions was on the rise, so was the positive turn-around of these properties and betterment of local neighborhoods as nearly $873,000 were spent on the purchase of several Ingham County Land Bank properties.

The Ingham County Land Bank has several sustaining programs within the organization such as the Garden Program. This program encourages individual and community gardens on vacant lots throughout the county. With over 150 potential sites in the city of Lansing, the Land Bank is able to help people obtain any necessary tools, seeds or other items to help interested parties get started. Anything grown by gardeners can be kept, sold or donated. Restoration Works is also an affiliate of the Ingham County Land Bank (in conjunction with Lansing Community College and the Allen Neighborhood Center) which supports the Eastside Neighborhood of Lansing. Their newest program, announced on June 21, 2011, is the Property Rehab and Ownership Program (PROP). Within this program, potential buyers will have the opportunity to purchase properties “as is,” renovate them within the high rehabilitation and energy efficient standards of the Ingham County Land Bank and earn a credit of up to 50% of the purchase price upon completion.

For more information, contact Eric at eschertzing@ingham.org

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