The Untapped Potential of Land Bank/Land Trust Partnerships

Land banks and land trusts are frequently portrayed as competing strategies for securing control over abandoned lands and derelict buildings, but I contend they are complementary.  Each strategy performs better if developed and operated in partnership with the other.  What a land bank does best is what a land trust does worst – and vice versa.  Each has a problem the other can fix:  Land banks have a disposition problem. Land trusts have an acquisition problem.  Atlanta may be the place where such a partnership receives its first true test.  The City of Atlanta-Fulton County Land Bank Authority and the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative are presently working together to create a property pipeline for the production and preservation of affordable housing in neighborhoods affected by the Atlanta Beltline, the largest TOD project in the United States.  Development without displacement is their mutual goal, requiring not only the remediation of derelict sites, but the long-term stewardship of these properties once they’ve been readied for reuse.  If Atlanta succeeds in putting these pieces in place, utilizing a land bank/land trust partnership to make the dream of an equitable and sustainable Beltline a reality, it will prove to the rest of the country just how powerful these partnerships can be.

Rooflines / The Shelterforce Blog


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