Check out land bank

Gloversville should give serious consideration to endorsing a proposed land bank. The idea could pair nicely with some other housing initiatives planned in the city.

Last week, representatives from Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful spoke to the Gloversville Common Council about plans for a regional land bank.

Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful is a six-county organization, which includes Fulton County, that works on beautification projects. The organization is applying to the state to start a regional land bank, which could lead to state funding for projects that help the area.

A land bank buys foreclosed properties and makes them available for sale to developers or builders. Officials previously noted land banks can stabilize, rehabilitate, deconstruct or demolish properties.

The land bank sounds like an idea that builds on – and could complement – current plans in Gloversville.

For starters, the Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corp. has a plan to transform a neighborhood in the heart of Gloversville. The plan in the Burr Street area of Gloversville would involve the demolition of 50 structures, in eventual hopes of creating 40 to 50 units of affordable housing.

During the recent New York Innovative Communities Network meeting in Gloversville, a video produced by the city showcased a number of ambitious plans. Much of the video referred to planned housing projects, such as the Pine Brook Housing Development on South Main Street.

As the city looks to change, improve its housing and bring in more people, the regional land bank could be a useful tool to bring state dollars to the battle in the local war against economic malaise.

By -