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City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.

www.kcmo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 9, 2012

Gov. Jay Nixon signs bill allowing creation of land bank

The City of Kansas City, Mo., announces that Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1659 on Monday, July 9 at Lucile H. Bluford Library, 3050 Prospect Ave. House Bill 1659 authorizes the City to create a land bank for the purpose of acquiring, rehabilitating and reselling abandoned and blighted properties.

“The Governor’s signature for House Bill 1659 has put into action a long awaited tool that we believe will help the City better manage properties that have long contributed to blight within the community,” said David Park, the City’s deputy director for Neighborhoods and Housing Services. “This bill is the result of a collaborative effort that demonstrates the importance of various agencies and government entities working together.”

A land bank is a governmental entity that focuses on the conversion of vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties into productive use. As such, the land bank agency will receive the tax-foreclosed properties that are not sold at the public tax-foreclosure auction. All properties within the city that are held by Land Trust of Jackson County will be transferred to the land bank agency within a year after the land bank agency is established. The agency will maintain the properties while striving to return them to the tax rolls and eliminate their blighting influence.

The land bank agency will also be able to receive donations of properties. Banks and mortgage companies have been donating low-value foreclosed properties to land banks in jurisdictions that have land banks. This is a better alternative than “walking-away” from the properties and furthering blight in the neighborhoods in which they are located.

House Bill 1659 was drafted through a joint effort by representatives from Kansas City, Jackson County and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with guidance provided by Frank Alexander, a nationally-respected attorney and law professor who has drafted legislation for several other states.

For more information on this issue, please contact David Park, deputy director of Neighborhoods and Housing Services, at 816-513-3231.

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