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Incubator: Land Bank

The Adirondacks are facing a housing crisis and Land Banks are one productive tool to create more attainable housing units for year-round residents in the region. Land Banks exist to acquire, manage, maintain, and repurpose properties in a manner consistent with the communities’ values and needs.


Building Vibrant Communities

Land Banks strategically acquire problem properties and revive them for the best community use, not just resell to the highest bidder. Essentially, land banks acquire problem properties, eliminate liabilities, and transfer the properties to new, responsible owners in a transparent manner that results in outcomes consistent with community-based plans. 

Land Banks can also accept donated land and buildings and work with communities and developers to create build spaces that will better serve local needs. At their best, land banks can overcome some of the most difficult barriers to returning properties to productive use and convert them into assets for community revitalization.

The Land Bank Project’s goal is to address the affordable housing shortage for low and middle income families in the Adirondacks by taking a lead role in catalyzing the development of a regional land bank.

AdkAction is creating a working group that will meet regularly, host informational webinars featuring land bank experts, targeted at local elected officials and other leaders who we hope will become interested in coordinating to apply for a NYS Land Bank slot through Empire State Development. 

We believe that forming a regional Land Bank is a vital step to create more attainable housing units for year-round residents of the Adirondacks and contribute to a more sustainable economic future.

Our Progress

pounds of food waste and other organics composted
pounds of greenhouse gas emissions prevented
community-scale composting sites created in the North Country

Shared Resources

The following documents and tools have been shared during our Adirondack Land Bank Roundtable Discussions:

This primer about land banks put out by NY Land Bank Association in 2014 is a short, direct, and easy to follow introduction to land banks. View or download the PDF here.

This in-depth report by the Center for Community Progress includes: characteristics of successful land banks, a national scan of land banking in the U.S.,  in-depth portraits of seven diverse land banks, and appendices featuring land bank policies and other core documents.

Complete a request form on the Center for Community Progress site to download a free copy of this report. 

The Center for Community Progress leads the National Land Bank Network (NLBN), which unites land bank leaders to share knowledge, network, and leverage their strengths to better inform policy change, strengthen land banking as a tool, and build a national community of practice.

Visit their land bank resource center for a growing list of resources.

The New York Land Bank Association was established in 2015 to:

  • inform local governments, citizens, and other stakeholders in New York regarding the establishment and operation of land banks in their respective communities;
  • foster and promote the sharing of information, resources, and services among land banks in New York and throughout the nation;
  • provide technical assistance, guidance, and other resources to land banks in New York; and
  • provide and support governmental relations to benefit and further the purpose of land banks in New York.

Visit for more information and resources.

AdkAction’s Land Bank Steering Committee is hosting a series of regional conversations with local government representatives to establish consensus on how to best implement one or more land banks to help address blighted, vacant, and abandoned properties and create a mechanism for development of donated land for the express purpose of creating housing.

Slide deck from initial roundtable discussion, February 2022

Slide deck from second roundtable discussion, April 2022

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