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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

http://www.kcmo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2012

Legislation adopted to help City manage blighted property

The City of Kansas City, Mo., is one step closer to being able to implement a new tool that will address the growing number of vacant and abandoned properties, as the Missouri Legislator has adopted a bill that authorizes the City to establish a land bank. The bill, which awaits the signature of the governor, is slated to take effect on Aug. 28, 2012.

The adoption of the bill is the latest step in a process that began in late 2008, when City officials learned that land banks have been successful in other cities experiencing an increase in vacant and abandoned buildings, due to the increase in mortgage foreclosure activity.

While awaiting the Governor’s signature to make the bill law, an implementation team is being established to facilitate the creation of the land bank. The implementation team will be chaired by David Park, deputy director of the Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department. Park first proposed the creation of a land bank in 2008 and has studied land bank operations in other cities. The implementation team will be charged with ensuring the Land Bank of Kansas City, Missouri is operational as soon as possible after the new law goes into effect.

The City Council must first adopt an ordinance to establish a land bank. Once operational, the land bank will work with banks and other lenders to seek donations of foreclosed properties. It will also attempt to gain control of vacant properties that have been abandoned by owners and take action to get the properties repaired and reoccupied or demolished if they are too deteriorated.

Within the City limits, there are thousands of vacant houses and many of them are abandoned. The adoption of the bill authorizing the land bank provides a new and useful tool for removing the neighborhood blight created by these houses.

For media inquiries, please contact David Park, deputy director of the Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department, at 816-513-3231.

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