Iowa legislators consider land banks to address blighted properties

20 Mar 2021


(The Center Square) – Iowa communities would be able to use a new redevelopment tool – land banks – to revitalize abandoned or dilapidated real estate if a bill in the House of Representatives passes.

The House Ways and Means Committee discussed SF 100 on March 18.

Under the bill any municipality could create a land bank and appoint a board of directors possessing the ability to hire staff. The public would be able to review the inventory of land the bank manages and maintains. A land bank would bring together public sector and private sector citizens to find ways to repurpose and redevelop properties “without a lot of upfront economic value,” Norris said.

Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Mike Norris told The Center Square in a phone interview that when a property becomes blighted, people’s interest in it declines, sometimes leaving “no hope except for demolition.”

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