The following topics are examples of issues of land use, sprawl and urban revitalization that have a direct association with the creation and operation of Land Banks. The research is divided into seven topical areas: tax foreclosure reform, planning, finance, marketing and development, land management, preservation and affordable housing. The list provided is by no means exhaustive and is meant only to generate thinking and provide direction in identifying appropriate topics for the Genesee Institute to pursue.
Tax Foreclosure Law
|PROPERTY TAX FORECLOSURE REFORM||Top|
The majority of property tax foreclosure laws across the country are neither efficient nor effective. They are commonly characterized by multi-stage proceedings, extending over three to six years, with constitutionally inadequate notice, resulting in title that is neither insurable nor marketable. Based on an evaluation of existing tax foreclosure laws what actions are necessary to reform these laws so that the tax foreclosure process can be streamlined? Control of Tax Delinquent Property
The sale of tax liens, or tax sale certificates, can have a major adverse impact on control of tax delinquent properties and the ability to convert such properties to productive use. What is the impact of large scale tax lien sales on local government finances and planning?Title Insurance
Historically title insurance has not been available for properties transferred through tax foreclosures due to concerns with constitutional and statutory procedures. What are the concerns of title insurance experts and what protocols need to be developed for achieving insurable title for tax foreclosed properties?Multi-jurisdictional Planning and Development
Lack of planning and development coordination between governmental jurisdictions is one of the major causes of urban sprawl and disconnected land use patterns. How can Land Banks, with a multi-jurisdictional mandate, help constituent government’s address the issue of coordinated planning and land use?Tax Reverted Properties Used as a Planning Imperative
Land-use planning for the appropriate disposition of tax reverted properties is a unique initiative for Land Banks. What should be the nature of such planning? How is it best coordinated with other planning bodies? How can planning for tax reverted property be made a part of broader planning initiatives?Stabilizing Residential Neighborhoods
Tax reverted property is an indicator and condition of de-stabilized neighborhoods. Age and condition of housing appears to be an early indicator of neighborhoods that will face foreclosure. What techniques can be developed to anticipate tax foreclosure before it occurs? What are the most effective means of preventing tax foreclosure and stabilizing neighborhoods before abandonment begins?Making Home Ownership Attractive
The result of tax foreclosure is a change in property ownership. Most stable communities have a high percentage of homeownership. Tax reversion occurs most frequently in neighborhoods where homeownership is low. How can tax reverted property best be used to encourage homeownership as a means of creating more stable neighborhoods?Turning Contaminated Tax Reverted Properties Into an Asset
Abandoned property frequently becomes tax reverted because of environmental contamination. Older properties, by t heir very nature, most often contain environmental containments. How can Land Bans use brown-field financing as an affective tool for redevelopment? Tax Reverted Property as an Asset
Land is a valuable and limited asset. As a limited asset tax reverted property has the potential for being a seed for new development. How can tax reverted property be positioned as an asset or as venture capital to promote urban redevelopment efforts?Tax Reverted Property as a Catalyst
Tax reverted property represents an important redevelopment tool. Tax reverted property can be considered for its catalytic affect on surrounding property. What kind of catalytic affects can be planned, encouraged and measured using tax reverted property? Tax Reverted Property and The Communities Best Interests
Urban areas face sometimes overwhelming challenges to redevelopment with local governments having to set priorities that cause some areas to be neglected. Tax reverted property that is retained by a Land Bank represents an unprecedented opportunity for redevelopment but it also raises questions regarding what redevelopment activities are in a communities best interests. What are the costs, risks and benefits of steering redevelopment to areas with high tax foreclosures?
|MARKETING AND DEVELOPMENT||Top|
Vacant land with cleared title is a precursor to market driven redevelopment activity. The availability of such land in a Land Bank might be used as a catalyst for previously unimagined development. How can the availability of land-banked property be used to create markets in what would otherwise be considered weak or non-existent market areas?Property Obsolescence
Many tax reverted properties are taken off the tax roles because they have become obsolete and are no longer viable in a changing market. Some improved properties are obsolete because of age and neglect while others simply can’t match current market demand. As these older obsolete neighborhoods decline without the opportunity for new investments to occur how can tax reverted property be used to cushion the economic and social impacts faced by residents left behind?Right Sizing
Tax reversion happens most often in communities experiencing significant population decline. Such decline frequently occurs in those areas being affected by changes in employment and job markets. Without changes to fundamentals in the economy it will take time before these communities once again achieve their previous population. Without a market for development how can land-banked property be used to address the issue of ‘right sizing’ these communities?Regional Imbalance
There is little balance in regional development. While some areas experience unbridled growth other areas stand neglected. Issues of affordable housing and urban sprawl are not unrelated issues. Neither are the problems associated with big box development on the fringes of cities and the nearly total decline in central city retailing activity. Do tax reverted properties present an opportunity for Land Banks to engage in the transfer of development rights as a means of addressing the regional imbalance that presently occurs in development?Trends in Disinvestment
No one likes to forecast doom. However, it is possible to predict where tax foreclosure is likely to occur. Land Banks are an important repository of information regarding trends in disinvestment. How can Land Banks use this information to work with other agencies to forestall decline and develop strategies for reinvestment?Minimizing Hardship
There are many factors that contribute to neighborhood decline: changing economic conditions, obsolescence, race, poverty, crime, etc. When such decline begins to occur it is sometimes impossible to reverse such a trend until it has run its course. How can Land Banks help to manage the dissolution of obsolete neighborhoods in ways that will minimize personal hardship and disruption?
Rapid Growth and Obsolescence
A problem associated with residential obsolescence is the history of rapid growth in areas that cause vast tracts of land to be developed at the same time. As these properties get older not just individual properties face decline but entire neighborhoods face obsolescence. How can Land Banks be used to forestall this phenomenon from occurring over and over again?CDC’s and Land Management
Community involvement, action and commitment have proven to be recognized means for neighborhood revitalization. Community Development Corporations (CDC’s) play a vital role in facilitating these activities. Land banked properties present another tool for CDC’s to use. How can CDC’s use Land bank property to promote the best interests of their communities and their organization?Land Reclamation
Much of the property Land Banks receive is abandoned and contaminated industrial property. Often this property is in a critical location and cannot or should not be used for new development. How can Land Banks creatively apply new knowledge concerning bio-remediation to such contaminated properties? Preservation and Market Forces
Market forces often influence the disposition of land without adequate and due consideration of the properties cultural significance or aesthetic value. How can Land Banks play a strategic role in acquiring and disposing of sensitive property before it falls into speculative use?Preservation of Un-developed Land
Sprawl is rapidly consuming farmland and natural habitats surrounding urban areas. Once used for development this land is not reclaimable. It is a limited resource. Various strategies have been applied to preserving this land. Growth boundaries, scenic easements and other interventions have been tried. Land Banks present another opportunity for preserving these valued environments. How can Land Banks pro-actively work with other legislative initiatives and governing bodies to preserve natural and ecological resources? Preservation of Private Assets
Tax foreclosure for people owning their own home is a symptom of larger economic and social problems. For most homeowners their home is their largest asset. Individual lives as well as neighborhoods are destroyed in the tax foreclosure process.. How can Land Banks intervene in this viscous cycle by aggressively pursuing tax foreclosure prevention? Restoration of Property
Land Banks provide an opportunity to remove properties of historic and cultural value from the speculative market. Often the opportunity to restore significant properties to appropriate uses is lost because realtors and developers lack the experience and vision to see new uses for these structures. How can Land Banks play a leadership role in the task of converting historical and culturally significant properties into new and productive uses?Addressing the Need for Affordable Housing
Vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties present a special opportunity for use as a resource to meet the need for affordable housing. What are appropriate strategies a Land Bank can use for the conversion of their property into affordable housing, both single family and multifamily rental and homeownership with sustainability in mind?Maintaining Affordability for People Facing Financial Hardship
Residential tax delinquency is a strong indicator of the likelihood of residential mortgage default and other economically devastating impacts on a household. How can Land Banks help to provide pre-foreclosure budget counseling and foreclosure prevention measures that can make once affordable housing for economically challenged home owners affordable once again?
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