land banks


Tue June 10, 2014

Syracuse nixes smoking in parks; approves alarm fee

The Syracuse Common Council has snuffed out the right to smoke in city parks and publicly-owned downtown gathering areas, like Clinton Square.

The council also formally added the dropping of cigarette butts on sidewalks to its anti-littering ordinance, punishable by a $50 fine.

The laws were written by councilor Bob Dougherty and Khalid Bey, who said they will shift the habits of smokers and protect people in public who don't want to be near second-hand smoke.

Read more


Mon March 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse land bank to try deconstucting old homes instead of demolishing

This house at 257 South Collingwood Ave. in Syracuse was the first the city's new land bank sold. Older, damaged homes will be deconstructed or demolished.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank is going into the deconstruction business. Taking apart old homes piece by piece will be an option to just tearing them down.

In the last year, the land bank has acquired 165 properties that had been seized by the city for back taxes. Many are in such bad shape they have to be torn down. Instead of demolition though, Land Bank Executive Director Katelyn Wright says there is some money available for deconstruction.

Read more


Wed March 12, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse Land Bank reports on progess in first year

The Syracuse Land Bank demolished it's first vacant home Monday.
Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

After a year on the job, the Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank has issued its first progress report, which notes that several steps have been taken to start reclaiming Syracuse neighborhoods from dilapidated and decaying homes.

First the numbers. The Syracuse Land Bank has acquired 165 properties across Syracuse over the past year. Twelve have been sold or have sales pending; 21 are currently for sale; 26 are slated for demolition;  and 57 are vacant lots.

Read more


Mon March 10, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse Land Bank demolishes first house

Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank has torn down its first house. Crews demolished a vacant home just off South Salina Street on Syracuse’s Southside Monday, after the land bank determined it was deteriorated beyond repair.

It’s the first of 25 properties slated for demolition this year, by the organization that buys dilapidated properties and either rehabs them or tears them down.  The idea is to deal with properties that are a drag on neighborhoods and magnets for crime.

Read more


Mon February 24, 2014

Schneiderman proposes more efforts to reduce vacant properties

Jinjian Liang via Flickr

  New York's attorney general wants to reduce the number of vacant properties in the state's cities by creating more land banks and a registry to track foreclosed on homes.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has proposed legislation that will double the number of land banks in the state to 20. The first ten land banks, including one in Syracuse, began working over the past two years. Their mission is to seize vacant and severely tax delinquent properties and put them back on the tax rolls.

Vacant properties are a drain on municipalities to maintain, Schneiderman said.

Read more


Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse land bank sells its first properties

This house at 257 South Collingwood Ave. in Syracuse is the first the city's new land bank sold.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With a wish of “good luck” to the new owners, the board of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank sold its first house Tuesday. The buyers of the vacant home on the 200 block of South Collingwood Ave. are Shaqir and Zahidi Halimi.

The Eastwood neighborhood home was delinquent on property taxes and seized by the land bank, one of the 88 it's taken control of so far. There are more than 3,000 vacant and delinquent properties in the city.

Read more


Thu October 10, 2013

Syracuse land bank becomes a landlord

The Syracuse land bank became a landlord this week as part of its work to put more city land on the tax rolls.

The land bank, known formally as the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation, closed on the sale of 17 properties that are vacant or owners were significantly behind on their property taxes.

Read more


Fri October 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Land Bank law amended, counties can now buy vacant properties

A new state law amends New York's land bank legislation introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration in 2011. Land banks are mechanisms for acquiring or demolishing abandoned properties that are delinquent on their taxes. The bill removes previous barriers that restricted counties and municipalities from purchasing properties without judicial authorization, allowing them to bid at public sales. Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti sponsored the legislation.

Read more


Mon September 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council approves more foreclosures

Syracuse Common Councilors have agreed to begin foreclosure proceedings on more than two dozen addition tax delinquent properties, that will be turned over to the land bank. This is the third round of foreclosure decisions by lawmakers in the last month. But, there is an end game in sight.

Read more


Wed August 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Common Council votes to turn properties over to Land Bank

Syracuse Common Councilors started the process of turning over tax-delinquent properties to the new Land Bank of Syracuse and Onondaga County on Monday, beginning a new era as the city tries to get rid of many dilapidated or abandoned properties that have been a blight on some neighborhoods, and a burden for tax collectors.

Read more


Thu June 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

State's land banks to get funds to help redevelop abandoned properties

New York state will use some of the money from last year's settlement with banks which contributed to the collapse of the housing market to help fund the state's "land banks," entities that buy and hold abandoned properties for redevelopment.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that a pot of $20 million will be divided up between the state's land banks for later development. Syracuse resident Hadee Rolon hopes it can help her Westside neighborhood, where well-kept properties are surrounded by boarded-up homes.

Read more


Thu March 7, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Rochester Land Bank to try to get more properties on the tax rolls

Rochester's Land Bank will target privately owned vacant properties.
Some rights reserved by Kake Pugh

The City of Rochester has been given state approval to establish one of the state’s ten Land Banks. The city’s Land Bank will support the acquisition of vacant, tax-delinquent properties which will then be  renovated and sold through the HOME Rochester program. The aim is to also get more properties back on the tax rolls.

Read more


Fri February 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Report says more collaboration needed in upstate revitalization

More collaboration is needed between the several efforts under way to revitalize upstate New York's "legacy cities," says a report released this week by a public affairs institute.

Read more


Tue December 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse approves plan to share funds with new land bank

The Syracuse Common Council voted Monday to give the city's newly formed land bank a loan for startup costs and to share property tax revenue so the land bank can function over the long term, but some felt the details of those plans left a lot to be desired.

Read more


Thu December 13, 2012
Regional Coverage

Funding structure for Syracuse's land bank slightly clearer

About 9 percent of properties in Syracuse are tax delinquent.
Credit Jinjian Liang / via Flickr

It began sending out foreclosure notices for the first time last month, but a long-term funding source for Syracuse and Onondaga County's newly formed land bank is just starting to come into focus; though some details remain to be worked out.

Read more


Tue December 4, 2012

Council wants to kick-start land bank operations

The Syracuse Common Council has proposed loaning the newly formed city-county land bank money so it can begin operating in earnest, but questions remain on the availability of those funds.

Read more


Mon November 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

200 Foreclosure notices sent out Monday in Syracuse

A newly-established land bank sent out 200 foreclosure notices in Syracuse on Monday. The land bank is one of five approved by the state earlier this year, as part of an effort to reduce the number of neglected properties and to add to property tax rolls.

Read more


Thu October 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

State audit critical of Syracuse hiring practice

An audit released Thursday morning by a state oversight board is critical of a hiring practice long-used by the city of Syracuse to get around civil service requirements.

Read more


Tue September 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Funding uncertain as new "land banks" move forward

Three upstate New York cities are developing new agencies to tackle vacant properties.
Jinjian Liang Flickr

Newly formed "land banks" in upstate New York are moving forward, despite uncertainties on just how they'll work - or be funded. The quasi-public entity in Syracuse recently presented a plan to the city to begin foreclosing on its approximately 3,900 vacant and tax delinquent properties, but there are still unanswered questions.

Read more


Fri May 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse "land bank" faces tall order: 3,300 tax-delinquent properties

Syracuse and four other upstate municipalities have been given approval to form land banks. The goal: reclaiming delinquent properties.
voxphoto via Flickr

The city of Syracuse has a new tool it hopes will reduce the number of vacant and tax-delinquent properties.

This week the state gave the OK for Syracuse and Onondaga County to create one of the first five "land banks" in New York State.

The new agency has plenty to work on.

There are 3,300 delinquent plots in the city of Syracuse alone.

Read more