June 10, 2020

Enterprise Awards $6.8 million to New York Land Banks Focusing on Racial Equity

The mortgage foreclosure crisis of 2008 has had a lasting and devastating impact across New York State, with a disproportionate impact on communities of color. In recent years, communities and government have used different tools to revitalize and channel investment into these areas.

One such model, Land Banks, acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties and bring them back to productive use, creating affordable homes and spurring economic opportunity. Land Banks are well-positioned to create housing stability among historically vulnerable populations.   

The first Land Banks in New York were established by the State Legislature in 2011. Since 2013, the New York State Attorney General’s office has invested nearly $82 million to support 25 Land Banks across the state through its Community Revitalization Initiative. Enterprise New York has administered $73 million of this funding to increase the supply of quality housing and reinvest in the neighborhoods that need it most. 

Decades of inequitable housing policies have disproportionately impacted communities of color. To ensure that the populations most affected by these policies can access the housing and economic opportunities created by Land Banks, Enterprise awarded nearly $7 million in a new round of funding this month to existing Land Banks that are integrating a racial equity lens into their work. 

Each Land Bank approaches this issue uniquely. Strategies include:

  • Targeting work in predominantly black and brown communities with high concentrations of poverty 
  • Contracting with and promoting minority-owned businesses
  • Cultivating a diverse staff and board representation that represents the communities they serve
  • Developing platforms of community participation and feedback to inform the Land Bank’s work 
  • Partnering with organizations that provide first-time homebuyer assistance programs targeting racially and ethnically diverse groups 

Enterprise is committed to continuing our work with partners to undo the effects of unjust housing policies and reduce racial disparities statewide.

The 13 Land Banks receiving this funding are listed below: 

  • Allegany County Land Bank
  • Troy Community Land Bank
  • Albany County Land Bank Corporation
  • Ogdensburg Land Bank Corporation
  • Tioga County Land Bank
  • Capital Region Land Bank
  • Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation
  • Newburgh Community Land Bank
  • Oswego County Land Bank
  • Rochester Land Bank Corporation
  • Sullivan County Land Bank
  • Greater Syracuse Land Bank
  • Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation
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