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2023 Year in Review: National Land Bank Network

December 12, 2023


It’s been a big year for the land banking field! In 2023, the National Land Bank Network helped land banks all across the country help their communities tackle property vacancy, abandonment, and deterioration. Some highlights from the past year include:

State of Land Bank Survey and Results

Thank you to all land banks that completed the 2023 State of Land Banking Survey. This survey, first conducted in 2021, represents the only opportunity for the land banking field to tell its story with comprehensive data. Check out the survey highlights blog post and presentation, and keep an eye out in 2024 for more insights.

Innovative Approach Awards

Five land banks were awarded with the first-ever Innovative Approach Award to help them launch new strategies and approaches to acquiring, stabilizing, and revitalizing problem properties. This award supports projects addressing community engagement, improving data and systems, increasing climate resilience, promoting equity, and/or stewarding vacant lots. The awardees were:

Land Bank DEI Learning Cohort

NLBN joined with Both/And Partners to invite land banks to a Land Bank Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Learning Cohort. As part of the Learning Cohort, participants gathered for four bi-weekly, virtual workshops where they shared their own experiences, engaged with those from their own communities and other land banks, and learned together.  

National Land Bank Network Summit

In Cleveland, Ohio, we held the first in-person National Land Bank Network Summit, the only national event dedicated to urban, suburban, and rural land banks. Over 300 land bank leaders and staff leaders from across the country gathered to learn from one another, shared challenges and successes, and hear from experts in the field of land banking. At the summit, we also honored the recipients of the Land Bank Innovative Approach Award and recognized two leaders in the land banking field: Everett Verner of the Macon-Bibb Land Bank (Emerging Leader Award) and Katelyn Wright of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank (Dan Kildee Legacy Award).    

Milestones in the Field

Land banks in Michigan and New York passed big milestones in 2023.

In Michigan, it has been 20 years since the passage of Michigan’s Land Bank Fast Track Act, and this year also marked the incorporation of the 50th land bank in the state. In that time, land banks across the state have helped their communities in countless ways, from creating jobs to reducing crime.

Meanwhile, New York celebrated 10 years of land banking. Since 2013, New York land banks have acquired 5,205 problem properties, attracted and catalyzed investments of approximately $480,000,000 in urban, rural, and suburban neighborhoods, and returned an estimated $134,219,946 in assessed value to the tax rolls.

Leaders in Land Banking

We spoke with land bank leaders who are working on groundbreaking policies and practices to further the impact land banking can have on addressing vacancy. Featured leaders this year included Alison Goldey, director of the Chatham County/City of Savannah Land Bank Authority, Leslie Smith, director of the Omaha Municipal Land Bank, and Adam Zaranko, executive director of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation

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