New Jersey Land Bank Launch Initiative

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A joint initiative between the Center for Community Progress and the Housing Community Development Network of New Jersey.

The New Jersey Land Bank Launch initiative is designed to build knowledge and capacity surrounding land banks, a powerful tool to address vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated (VAD) properties, across the Garden State. Throughout this initiative, Community Progress and the Housing Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDNNJ) are working alongside partners and directly with community leaders interested in exploring land banks as tool to advance local equitable revitalization goals in New Jersey.

Virtually all communities have some inventory of VAD properties, which pose significant health and safety risks for residents and neighborhoods and disproportionately harm Black and Brown communities. Some communities also have large inventories of publicly owned underutilized properties. New Jersey municipalities align with these national trends. In communities across the country, land banks have proven to be a powerful tool to address VAD properties and advance equitable revitalization outcomes consistent with community goals.

In July 2019, Senate Bill No. 1214, the “New Jersey Land Bank Law,” was signed into law. The New Jersey Land Bank Law permits New Jersey municipalities to form land banks by entering into an agreement with a nonprofit or public redevelopment entity to serve as the municipality’s land bank. However, the pandemic stalled efforts to capitalize on this new community development tool. Now with renewed energy for addressing persistent housing challenges statewide, the time is right for New Jersey communities to explore the potential for land banks to address persistent VAD property challenges and advance equitable community development.

Community Progress’ and HCDNNJ, invite you to apply for the New Jersey Land Bank Launch Scholarship. Two communities will be selected through a competitive application process to receive no-cost technical assistance to explore and ultimately implement new land banks in the Garden State.

The engagement will assess the feasibility of a land bank as an effective tool and provide observations on key complementary systems that touch problem properties (such as delinquent property tax foreclosure and code enforcement systems).

Each scholarship will include:

  • Up to 100 hours of technical assistance from a team of national land bank experts and New Jersey community development experts
  • A two-day site visit that will focus on deeper conversations with local governmental staff, community partners, and resident leaders and educational community forums to ensure inclusive engagement
  • A written deliverable to document key observations and locally tailored recommendations for successful, community-driven implementation
  • Potential for additional funding to support inclusive stakeholder engagement and education.

Scholarship details and application instructions can be found in the New Jersey Land Bank Launch Scholarship overview. Preview the application questions here.

Eligible Applicants

The following entities are eligible to apply:

  • Municipalities
  • Municipal redevelopment agencies
  • County improvement entities
  • Nonprofit organizations or a coalition of nonprofit organizations


Tuesday, October 3, 2023 Scholarship applications open
Friday, December 1, 2023 Applications due electronically by 5:00pm ET
December 4 – December 13, 2023 Interviews conducted with select applicants
By Wednesday, December 20, 2023 All applicants notified of application status
By Friday, January 26, 2024 Kick off meetings with selected communities
By Friday, February 9, 2024 Scholarship Agreements executed between Community Progress and recipients
February – July 2024 Delivery of technical assistance

Additional Resources

How to Apply

Applications are due Friday, December 1, 2023 at 5:00 PM EST. Complete the application here.


If you have any questions about the New Jersey Land Bank Launch Scholarship please contact Liz Kozub at [email protected].

This opportunity is made possible through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF is committed to improving health and health equity in the United States. In partnership with others, RWJF works to develop a Culture of Health rooted in equity that provides every individual with a fair and just opportunity to thrive, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have.