Frequently Asked Questions | Chautauqua County Land Bank

- What is a land bank?

Land banks are governmental entities or nonprofit corporations that are focused on the conversion of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties into productive use.

Vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties are often grouped together as “problem properties” because they destabilize neighborhoods, create fire and safety hazards, drive down property values, and drain local tax dollars. In some sense, these are properties the private market has altogether rejected.

Land banks, in essence, are a direct response to this growing trend of vacancy and abandonment, created to strategically acquire problem properties and convert these liabilities into assets. In short, land banks are intended to acquire title to these problem properties, eliminate the liabilities, and transfer the properties to new, responsible owners in a transparent manner that results in outcomes consistent with community-based plans.

Most land banks have special powers (see below) that enable them to undertake these activities more effectively and efficiently than other public or nonprofit entities. When thoughtfully executed, land banking can resolve some of the toughest barriers to returning land to productive use, helping to unlock the value of problem properties and converting them into assets for community revitalization.

+ How are land banks created?
+ How many land banks are operating throughout the country?
+ How does land banking work?
+ Aren’t land banks competing with the private market, with an unfair advantage?
+ When does it make sense to use land banking?
+ What does a typical land bank program look like?
+ What are some of the core powers of a land bank?
+ How is a land bank different from a redevelopment authority?
+ How is a land bank funded?
+ How many properties do land banks generally have in their inventory at any given time?
+ What kinds of properties do land banks acquire?

Contact the Chautauqua County Land Bank to learn more about what we do.

Recent News & Updates

GOOD-BYE: Portage Inn meets its end

Determined to be unsafe as well as unsightly, the long-abandoned Portage Inn on N. Portage Avenue in Westfield was demolished Thursday.

Portage Inn set for demolition

The dangerously decrepit Portage Inn building in downtown Westfield will soon disappear from 18-28 N. Portage St. now that the village board unanimous...

And the walls fall down

The city of Dunkirk will be opening bids Monday for asbestos surveys on seven properties that would get them closer to demolition.

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