Land Banking

Overview and Description

Land banking is a process in which land is protected and preserved until development or rehabilitation to meet community goals is ready to be implemented. In Colorado, a land bank is a nonprofit entity (though they can be public entities in other states) that has control over parcels of land within a community. These can be vacant land that will be used for development (including affordable housing) or land that has already been developed. A land bank can undertake rehabilitation on the buildings before reselling the property. Land banks receive land through a variety of different ways, including donations and land transfers from local governments.

Program Lead: Land Bank

Role for Local Government: Local governments often work very closely with land banks to identify land that can be used to create more options for affordable housing or to address a community need. Local governments can also donate land or properties that can be put into a land bank.

Opportunity and Examples from Colorado

The City of Fort Collins has a land bank that acquires underdeveloped land to be redeveloped with the intention of creating a greater stock of affordable housing units.

The Cook County Land Bank Authority is funded by Cook County government through “grants, contributions and revenues from transactions.” As a governmental agency, the land bank rehabilitates and redevelops land that is under utilized or tax-delinquent.

The Summit County Council created the Summit County Land Bank in 2012. Since its creation, the land bank has created programs and initiatives to rehabilitate and reutilize properties within the county.

Recently, voters in Colorado approved Measure 123, which will provide funding to local governments and mission minded organizations for land banking and other uses. Funds will be managed by the Division of Housing.