Albany County Land Bank gets $1.8M from state

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

The blighted Governors Motor Inn on Route 20 in Guilderland was sold through the Albany County Land Bank; the burned-out building has since been demolished and the site now houses a self-storage center.

ALBANY COUNTY — Among the 24 New York land banks receiving a total of nearly $26 million from the state, Albany County Land Bank got a $1.8 million grant.

Separately, the Capital Region Land Bank received $1,757,475, according to a Friday release from the governor’s office.

The funding, made available through the state’s Land Bank Initiative, is meant to help eliminate blight, increase housing supply, assist local economic development efforts, spur the availability of homeownership opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities that have experienced disinvestment, according to the release.

The grants were awarded on a competitive basis through a request for applications issued by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The funds are drawn from $50 million allotted for the Land Bank Initiative in the 2023 state budget.

New York’s land banks were established in 2012 with passage of the New York State Land Bank Act. Land banks are local public authorities designed to acquire, stabilize, assemble, and facilitate the redevelopment of blighted and abandoned properties in order for them to be returned to productive use. There are currently 26 land banks across the state.

“This program will empower local nonprofits — the people that know their communities best — to help increase homeownership while repairing the fabric of their neighborhoods,” said Governor Kathy Hochul in the release.

“This award will enable us to address some of the most challenging vacant and abandoned properties in our communities and transform them into new opportunities for affordable housing,” said Adam Zaranko, executive director of the Albany County Land Bank Corporation, in his own release.

“Albany County is proud to have already invested nearly $4 million in our land bank since it was created in 2014,” said Albany County Executive Daniel Mccoy in a statement. “During these nine years, the Albany County Land Bank has helped us to revitalize entire neighborhoods.”

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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