The Birmingham Land Bank Authority, a public corporation, is the first local municipal land bank to incorporate and operate under Alabama’s property and tax foreclosure laws. We have made great strides over the last five years.
Upon joining the staff in 2017, we were not able to close on the sale of a property. This year, we will have over 500 ties that will have made the journey from tax deed to insurable title and will have been available for purchase.
The Birmingham Land Bank Authority (BLBA) has the unique ability to acquire and extinguish back taxes, municipal liens and assessments and the authority to institute legal actions to clear titles on eligible properties and foster development on properties that were previously financial liabilities rather than assets.
Every property that the land bank conveys to a new owner is a property that the City of Birmingham no longer has to maintain and one that generates revenue for the city.
The BLBA continues to focus not solely on completing sales, but selling parcels to buyers that have plans to develop the property into assets for the community.
We must remember these key points that the Center For Community Progress notes on all Land Banks across the country:
- All land banks will always need some level of support – cash or in-kind – proportional to the scope and scale of vacancy and blight it is expected to resolve.
- If the properties had market potential, there would be no problem!
- Thus, this work requires ongoing investments from non-private actors (government, foundations, nonprofits, volunteers, etc.)
- Not about maximizing proceeds, but optimizing neighborhood outcome!
- Consistent funding streams allow staff to find creative solutions instead of chasing the next grant. Municipal financial and collaborative support of the BLBA projects is vital to ensuring that our communities are Safe, Secure, Sustainable, Healthy, Thriving and Diverse.
The BLBA looks forward to putting more properties back into productive use over the next year and fostering neighborhood revitalization in all of our communities.