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About the Houston Land Bank

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Who is the Houston Land Bank?

The Houston Land Bank (HLB) is a local government corporation and a 501c-3 nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing and redeveloping underutilized and vacant properties in Houston. HLB collaborates with public and private stakeholders to strategically acquire, manage, and dispose of properties that foster community development and enhance the city's quality of life.  

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What is a land bank?

A land bank is a public entity with unique powers to put vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties back to productive use according to community goals. Land banks are granted special powers and legal authority according to state-enabling statutes to accomplish these tasks. Land banks are designed to acquire and maintain problem properties and then transfer them back to responsible ownership and productive use per local land use goals and priorities, creating a more efficient and effective system to eliminate blight. This process is known as land banking. 

When thoughtfully executed, land banks can resolve some of the most challenging barriers to returning land to productive use, helping to unlock the value of problem properties and converting them into assets for community revitalization. Texas State Bill SB 1679 Land Bank legislation currently governs landbanks in Texas. Houston officially formed a local land bank called The Houston Land Bank in 2018. 

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Why is the Houston Land Bank the right partner for Velasco?  

The City of Houston has turned to the Houston Land Bank to champion the clean-up of the former incinerator property back into productive use for the community. As a land bank, Houston Land Bank has special powers and legal authority according to state-enabling statutes to accomplish this task. The Houston Land Bank has an active and successful Brownfields Redevelopment Program, currently funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that aims to advance revitalization projects and build healthy communities by addressing environmental issues through assessment, clean-up, and redevelopment of brownfields.  

The clean-up and redevelopment of this property directly align with HLB's focus on converting contaminated properties into productive use according to local community goals. Through the success of their current Brownfield program, The Houston Land Bank has the expertise and eligibility to secure additional grants and technical resources from the EPA to support clean-up activities. 

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