Land Banking
Amendments

Read more about Councilman O'Connor and Councilwoman Gross's proposed amendments to City of Pittsburgh's Land Bank legislation.

Letters of Support

Find out what local stakeholders have to say in support of a land bank in Pittsburgh

 

In the News

A list of articles about land banks and land resuse has been compiled.

Land Bank FAQ

Do you have questions about what a land bank is and how it works? Take a look at this handy FAQ.

Outside Resources

 

We did it!

We’re thrilled to announce that Monday, April 14th, 2014 marked the passage of the much awaited Land Bank bill! Pittsburgh City Council passed necessary legislation to create the Pittsburgh Land Bank Board, taking a huge step forward towards addressing the problem of blight throughout our city.

The bill received overwhelming support with eight of the nine council members voting in support. Your diligence through weeks of discussion, negotiation and compromise is greatly appreciated, and we could not have succeeded without your commitment towards positive change in the City of Pittsburgh. A resounding round of applause and thanks to all of you who have offered insight, assistance and support to help us kick off 2014 with a blast of progressive action.

As the bill moves towards Mayor Peduto’s desk, stay tuned for updates and further information! There’s still a long road ahead of us but with your support and dedication, we’re determined to create a Land Bank that will fully serve your best interests.   

You Spoke, We Listened

It’s been busy in Pittsburgh City Council! Councilwoman Gross’ January introduction of legislation to create a Pittsburgh land bank led to an outpouring of productive public discussion about vacant and abandoned property in our city. 

Through a televised post agenda meeting, a crowd-packed four and a half hour evening public hearing in Council Chambers, and numerous meetings with a wide range of community leaders and groups who serve affected neighborhoods, Councilwoman Gross and Councilman Corey O’Connor have been hard at work incorporating this feedback to craft amendments to create a land bank that will for work for communities from the ground-up.

Both Council offices have been engaged in a four week one-on-one outreach period to hear input from community leaders to address common concerns about how the land bank’s board should be structured, the creation of a community-based petition process to check and balance the land bank’s activity in affected areas, and work to strengthen and solidify protection for those in occupied homes.

We’re excited about what is coming down the pipeline, and we can’t wait to share it with you once the feedback period is finished. Summary points of Councilman O’Connor’s amendments will be forthcoming to provide an idea of the improvements contained within the amendments as they are refined and legally reviewed.

  • Take a look below for a broad summary of the O’Connor-Gross amendments, and check this page regularly for updates, useful links, and other land bank resources.
  • Do you have questions about what a land bank is and how it works? Take a look at this handy FAQ page here

Land Bank Benefits:

The Land Bank will give communities a voice to decide the fate of tax-foreclosed property in their neighborhood, guarding against vacant parcels of land falling into the hands of speculators, allowing neighborhoods to drive development at the grassroots level.  By viewing vacant and abandoned properties as potential assets—rather than barriers—communities can reinvest in their neighborhoods from the ground up.

The O’Connor-Gross Amendments Summarized

  • Oversight of the Lank Bank has been addressed in the O’Connor-Gross amendments by requiring the Land Bank Board to host a minimum of five community information meetings while it works to draft the Land Bank’s Policies and Procedures. These Policies and Procedures will act as the rules and policies that guide the Land Bank’s day-to-day operations, its neighborhood priorities, and internal staff structure. In addition to these public information meetings, the amendments mandate a 30-day public comment period to allow for community feedback on the draft Land bank Policies and Procedures. To ensure an additional layer of open participation and public oversight, the final draft of the Land Bank Board’s Policies and Procedures must be approved by City Council before they are officially adopted.
  • Community participation amendment provisions will add three community members from the three most affected Council districts. These board members will be required to either reside or work for community-based organizations in these three Council districts, ensuring representation for communities where the land bank will operate most frequently. City Council will appoint three additional Land Bank board members, and the Mayor’s office will appoint the remaining three seats, for a total of nine Land Bank board seats.
  • The O’Connor-Gross amendments also provide the opportunity for extensive community engagement throughout the sale/disposition process, including procedures for notification and opposition, as well as a community-based petition process to allow for a public hearing to discuss controversial property dispositions. Public concerns about the Land Bank’s ability to take owner-occupied land resulted in several amendments to ensure protection for homeowners.
  • The O’Connor-Gross amendments will require that the City provide hardship payment plans and additional protections to owner-occupants who are unable to pay their current taxes. The Land Bank will make every effort to refrain from purchasing Owner - Occupied housing so as not to displace individuals or families. Finally, the Land Bank will not look to acquire Owner-Occupied properties without first confirming that an appropriate payment plan has been offered for any municipal taxes or claims, including evaluation for an income-based payment agreement.
  • Concerns about Land Bank staff being able to approve sale of property under $50,000 resulted in an amendment that removes any ability of staff to approve sale of property in its entirety.  Every disposition of property will be required to be approved by the Board. Finally, after receiving feedback from Locally- Sourced and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, preference shall be given to minority and women-owned business enterprises by the Land Bank.

Click here to see the full summary of amendments.

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posted 4/08/14 @ 11:19 am

 

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