State Grant Will Help Schenectady Land Bank Move Forward

State Grant Will Help Schenectady Land Bank Move Forward

For Immediate Release

Schenectady, NY – October 29, 2013 – City and County leaders today announced a $150,000 grant from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that will support efforts to establish the new Land Bank in Schenectady.    

“The Land Bank will develop into a valuable tool for neighborhood revitalization,” said Robert Hoffman, Chair of the Capital Region Land Bank and a member of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This funding will help us launch the Land Bank and move us closer to accomplishing our mission to turn vacant and abandoned properties into assets instead of liabilities for our neighborhoods.”

Steve Strichman, Director of the Land Bank said, “The $150,000 in administrative funding will transform our Land Bank from a group of volunteers into an active working corporation.  When coupled with $100,000 in funding from the County and $50,000 from the City IDA, we are now able to undertake projects that remove blight. We are confident that we will receive additional funding from the Attorney General’s office next year.”

The Land Bank is officially known as the Capital Region Land Reutilization Corporation.  The organization is committed to strategic rehabilitation and demolition of vacant and abandoned properties within focus neighborhoods to help stabilize and create strong blocks.  In 2011, New York State passed the Land Bank Act to provide municipalities with a new tool to combat blight caused by abandoned and neglected homes and lots.  The Capital Region Land Bank, consisting of the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County and the City of Amsterdam, was designated as a State Land Bank in 2012.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office is providing funding to NYS Land Banks using proceeds from a national mortgage settlement case won by the Attorney General.

Using the new Land Bank, Schenectady’s goal is to demolish homes that are beyond repair and rehab other properties that can add to neighborhood restoration efforts working in close cooperation with the Mayor’s HOMES program (Home Ownership Made Easy in Schenectady).