A land bank could be the answer to foreclosure crisis

Julie Porter, Executive Director of Greater Kansas City LISC, supports land bank legislation to help stem a potential foreclosure crisis in Kansas City. LISC has worked intensely to educate civic and community leaders about vacant property issues in the past few years.

15 Feb 2012 - Julie Porter

Excerpt:

The recent rise in foreclosures — many centered in our urban neighborhoods — and declines in property values have caused the number of vacant properties to increase to record levels. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, there are approximately 12,000 vacant and abandoned properties. Without adequate tools to acquire the properties and to clear title, the properties will remain in limbo for years or be sold on the courthouse steps, most often to predatory investors wishing to make a quick return but who care little about what happens to the surrounding neighborhood.

Statistics show that a vacant property on an otherwise occupied block can reduce property values (and associated property tax). Conversely, city maintenance costs increase, as do the costs of police and code enforcement activities.

In Philadelphia, a 2010 study revealed that vacant and abandoned properties reduced the value of the city’s homes by an average of $8,000 each, incurred $20 million in annual maintenance costs and deprived the city of $2 million a year in tax revenues. In Austin, Texas, blocks with vacant buildings had 3.2 times as many drug calls to police, 1.8 times as many theft calls and twice the number of violent crime calls as blocks without vacant buildings. Continued[+]...

> Read the full Kansas City Star article.

> Visit the Greater Kansas City LISC website.

Also See:

‘Land bank’ proposed to help KC clean up urban blight

Article Type: News