Michigan Land Banks: 10 Years of Struggles and Successes
The following is an excerpt:
In the wake of the national foreclosure crisis, Oakland County treasurer Andy Meisner says metro Detroit’s real estate situation is a “problem statement” that could be solved by the unique entity known as a land bank.
“You have blight,” Meisner says. “You have a real estate market that is not self-correcting at an adequate rate… It really does require a comprehensive approach–the full toolbox, if you will. And one of the tools in the toolbox is a land bank.”
Ten years after Genesee County opened Michigan’s first land bank, the state now has 38 community land banks authorized by the state land bank. The banks are public authorities created to hold, manage and repurpose tax-foreclosed property. They’re funded by their local governments, sales of accumulated property and in some cases federal dollars. Land banks seek to avoid the blight that often sets in on foreclosed plots as a result of mismanagement by speculating buyers at auction, or disuse of properties that fail to sell at all.