Just recently, the state announced it has approved five applications from local governments seeking to create land banks to redevelop vacant or abandoned properties.

New York State’s Land Bank Program was signed into law in July 2011.  A report on the Land Bank Act is available on the NYS Association of Counties web site.

After a review of applications, Empire State Development (ESD) has approved land banks for the following regions and communities:

  • the cities of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Erie County
  • the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County
  • the cities of Schenectady and Amsterdam and Schenectady County
  • Chautauqua County
  • The City of Newburgh


This is important step for many upstate cities, because it gives local governments the much-needed ability to take community redevelopment into their own hands.  If we are going to revive Upstate New York, we need effective and cost efficient solutions like this one to address our long-term problems.