New York Land Bank Program Applications are Available

Industry Update: On October 3, published an article entitled Governor Cuomo Announces Applications for Second Round of Land Banks Now Available.  This land bank program encourages the transformation of urban blight into economic recovery and revitalization.

Municipalities Can Access Applications Online to Rehabilitate Blighted Neighborhoods

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that applications for the second round of the Land Bank Program are now available online. The program allows municipalities to convert vacant or abandoned properties through economic development and community revitalization into uses that better serve the public interest.

“The Land Bank Program empowers local entities to transform sites of urban blight into assets for local economic recovery and revitalization,” Governor Cuomo said. “With additional rounds underway, more communities will have access to this important resource for economic development and job creation. Together, neighborhood by neighborhood, we will continue to rebuild the State of New York.”

Governor Cuomo signed New York State’s Land Bank Program into law in July 2011. The law authorized the creation of ten land banks, allowing cities and counties to convert vacant, abandoned or tax-delinquent properties into more productive uses. These properties could be redeveloped or resold to better meet local demand for buildings.

Five applications were approved to create land banks during the first round in May 2012, including:

  • Cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Erie County;
  • City of Syracuse and Onondaga County;
  • City of Schenectady, County of Schenectady and City of Amsterdam;
  • Chautauqua County; and
  • City of Newburgh

Just as in the first round, Empire State Development (ESD) is responsible for selecting and approving applications. To be eligible, municipalities seeking to create land banks in their communities must be able to foreclose on tax liens. Governmental entities that are approved by ESD will be permitted to create a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to turn vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties into productive use.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Land Bank Program, local communities have another tool to rebuild neglected neighborhoods and promote economic growth. As local communities face the significant challenge of dealing with vacant and abandoned properties, the Governor’s Land Bank Program provides a valuable resource to help restore the character of these communities and revitalize struggling local economies across the state.”

Applications for the second round are available online at:

Up to five applications will be selected in the second round. Applications must be submitted by 3 p.m. on November 30, 2012. Deadlines for submitting applications for future rounds, if needed, will be posted at

Empire State Development and the Center for Community Progress will be holding a webinar on land banking for interested municipalities on Wednesday, October 10 from noon to 2 p.m. The webinar, which is open to the public, will help local government officials and community development professionals gain a deeper understanding of land banking benefits, how land banks can help New York communities manage the challenges posed by vacant and abandoned properties, and how to create a land bank pursuant to the New York State Land Bank Act. There will also be a question and answer session for participants on the land bank application process. All participants must RSVP to and will receive log-in information for how to access the webinar, which is being hosted by Enterprise Community Partners.

To read the article, please click here.

About Safeguard
Safeguard Properties is the largest privately held field services company in the country. Located in Cleveland, Ohio and founded in 1990 by Robert Klein, Safeguard has grown from a regional preservation company with a few employees  and a handful of contractors performing services in the Midwest, to a national company with more than 1,600 employees. Safeguard is supported by a nationwide network of subcontractors able to perform any requested superintendence, preservation, and maintenance functions, as well as numerous ancillary services in the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.


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