Land banks acquire, repair, resell abandoned property to be used again
By Moriah Balingit / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross is proposing the creation of a land bank for the city of Pittsburgh, a mechanism that could streamline the process of redeveloping tax-delinquent land, parcels that are often the blighted eyesores of communities.
On Tuesday, Ms. Gross introduced a bill to create the legal framework for the Pittsburgh Land Bank, which would be an entity separate from the city with a board of directors appointed by Mayor Bill Peduto and city council. The legislation is a work in progress because Ms. Gross wants to get community input on many of the program’s details.
Under the state law, land banks have the ability to capture about half of the money collected from penalties on tax-delinquent parcels when they’re sold through a treasurer’s sale. The land bank can use that money and other capital to purchase and rehabilitate other tax-delinquent parcels.