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Greater Kansas City LISC is pleased to announce that today at 1:00 a.m. the Missouri General Assembly passed legislation supporting the establishment of a land bank in Kansas City, Mo. The legislation is the culmination of two years of behind-the-scenes efforts by Greater Kansas City LISC to introduce and educate community leaders about the benefits of a land bank to address the 12,000 vacant and abandoned properties in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
“The passage of this important legislation is a victory for Kansas City residents as we all continue to seek solutions that reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties in the urban core,” said Julie Porter, Greater Kansas City LISC Executive Director.
More specifically, the legislation allows the City of Kansas City, Missouri to form a land bank of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties to help manage, sell and transfer tax delinquent land in order to return the properties to productive reuse. Allowing the City of Kansas City to form a land bank would allow the City to strategically focus on how best to utilize these properties to aid community redevelopment efforts.
“Over the past two years, Greater Kansas City LISC has worked to educate civic and community leaders about vacant property issues and share examples of how other municipalities are addressing the problem,” said David Park, Deputy Director of Neighborhood and Community Services for the City of Kansas City. Through four LISC Vacant Properties symposiums, national experts have presented new ideas and LISC facilitated broad-based community discussion. In addition, LISC brought to Kansas City one of the country’s pre-eminent organizations - the Center for Community Progress – to help write the land bank legislation.
"Due, in part to LISC's leadership, the community was able to consider all the options available to us and determine the best course of action,” said Crystal Williams, Jackson County Legislator. “I'm very pleased that a new Kansas City land bank will be able to assume responsibility for working with neighborhoods and businesses to seek creative housing and economic development opportunities for our city.”
LISC would like to commend the bill’s sponsors for their outstanding leadership. It received bi-partisan sponsorship support from Rep. Noel Torpey (Republican - District 52) and Rep. Michael Brown (Democrat- District 50) in the House, and Sen. Victor Callahan (Democrat – District 11) in the Missouri Senate.
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