U.S. Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Republican Conference, and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today introduced the National Land Bank Network Act. This legislation would create a national network to provide resources, technical assistance, and grants to help land banks nationwide implement best practices. This network would also help communities create their own land banks.
“As a former mayor that understands the importance of using land banks to revitalize vacant and abandoned properties, I’m proud to work alongside Congressman Kildee to introduce this legislation,” said Congressman Ferguson.“Land banks have the unique ability to create value in properties that the private market would normally avoid. Especially in rural Georgia, land banks provide critical opportunities to bring economic growth and future development to local communities that otherwise would not happen.”
“Since I founded Michigan’s first land bank in Genesee County in 2002, over 250 communities nationwide have recognized the power of land banks to restore abandoned properties to productive uses. Land banks help communities clean up blight, reduce crime and increase property values. I am pleased to introduce this commonsense legislation with my Republican colleague, Congressman Ferguson, to strengthen our neighborhoods,” said Congressman Kildee.
Vacant and abandoned properties destabilize neighborhoods by driving down surrounding property values, creating fire and safety hazards, and draining local tax dollars. Distressed properties are a difficult problem for local communities to resolve. Often, the cost of repairs to maintain these properties and the potential unpaid taxes on such properties exceed the actual property value, discouraging potential future buyers.
In response, land banks were developed to help return vacant and tax delinquent properties to productive uses, like economic development and affordable housing. A federal network for land banks can help expand their reach and capacity to address these challenges and improve neighborhoods across America.
We look forward to meeting with you and developing lasting relationships that can have a major impact on our district and beyond.
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