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Philadelphia City Council approves land bank legislation

December 12, 2013

Philadelphia is now the largest municipality in the country to have established a land bank, after City Council unanimously approved a land bank bill  on Thursday, December 12th. The land bank is hoped to provide a transparent and equitable process for putting Philadelphia’s 40,000 vacant and abandoned properties back into productive use. Philadelphia LISC is a member of the Philly Land Bank Alliance,  a diverse coalition of groups that continue to advocate for a transparent, efficient, accountable, equitable and predictable Land Bank.

Congratulations to our partners in the Alliance and to PACDC for their strong leadership in passing this historic legislation.

Below is a excerpt from the Philly Land Bank Alliance’s statement, following City Council’s vote.

Historic measure will reform the City’s broken vacant property system

Today, Philadelphia’s City Council approved Bill No. 130156-A by a vote of 15 – 0, which creates a Philadelphia Land Bank.  The Land Bank represents major reform of the City’s broken system for putting vacant properties back into productive use.

“Philadelphians who have been plagued by vacant properties in their neighborhoods will soon have a powerful tool in the Philadelphia Land Bank.  The Land Bank will make it easier and quicker for individuals, community groups, small businesses, community development corporations and market rate developers to turn vacant, blighted properties into vibrant, usable spaces,” said Rick Sauer, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC).  PACDC is part of the Philly Land Bank Alliance, a diverse coalition of groups that came together to advocate for a transparent, efficient, accountable, equitable and predictable Land Bank.

Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez, who sponsored the Land Bank legislation, commented, “This Land Bank will finally give Philadelphia the tools we need to reclaim our neighborhoods from blight, abandonment, and tax delinquency, and to get properties back into productive reuse. Credit for this historic step is due to the leadership of Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration, Council President Darrell Clarke, State Representative John Taylor, and an unprecedented coalition of organizations and individuals who came together to advocate for reform.”

Read the entire Philly Land Bank Alliance statement on phillylandbank.org.

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