The Michigan Legislature has advanced a bill that will expand local land banks
A bill introduced by Representative Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids) would allow cities with over fifty thousand people, in counties with no land bank, to establish their own.
A local land bank allows local governments to acquire and manage properties that have been abandoned or foreclosed.
The bill advanced from the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee along party lines.
Representative Grant says local land banks give cities more control over how “blighted” properties are used.
“A local land bank is a great tool because it really gives intentionality to the use of properties that are currently under used,” Grant says.
She says expanding land banks would allow local governments to be precise with their property use and address issues like affordable housing.
“We have such a huge housing shortage across the state and across the country right now and this is going to give cities a tool to really address some of those things specifically,” Grant says.
Currently, Detroit is the only city with a land bank independent from the county.
Grant says she expects a vote on the bill this week.