Oakland County establishes a Land Bank to encourage development
(Oakland County, January 10, 2022)
Oakland County Treasurer Robert Wittenberg – in partnership with the State Land Bank Authority (SLBA), the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the Oakland County Executive Office to support economic development and revitalize communities and neighborhoods in the Oakland County Land Bank. ,
“The Oakland County Land Bank Authority allows us to expand our economic development toolkit so that we can directly address real estate vacancies, support new developments and tax-list foreclosed properties,” said Robert Wittenberg, Oakland County Treasurer. “It gives us the opportunity to strengthen our communities and neighborhoods by creating homes, public spaces, or other creative community uses.”
Land banks acquire ownership of land—usually through the foreclosure process—and transfer land to new, responsible owners in accordance with community-based plans that return the land to the tax register. Additional resources and funding may be available to support infrastructure, roads and utility costs for land bank properties, commercial activities, and economic development projects including affordable and marketable housing.
“The State Land Bank Authority has supported the establishment of county land banks since 2004, and we see the importance of applying the Land Bank Tool to Michigan communities in 2022 as never before,” said SLBA executive director Emily Doerr. “The creation of Oakland County Land Bank by the Office of Treasurer Wittenberg reflects an ongoing commitment to use public property to maximize development/remodeling opportunities for the benefit of the community.”
On June 23, 2022, the Oakland County Board of Commissioners approved an interstate agreement between the State Land Bank Authority and the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office establishing the Oakland County Land Bank Authority. A board of directors is formed to manage the Landbank.
“It’s a big deal — Oakland County’s new land bank will improve housing, increase home values and help create an economy that works for all,” said David T. Woodward, President of the Board of Commissioners of Oakland County. “This has been a priority for a long time, and we made it!”
“A land bank is such a useful tool to strengthen our neighborhoods and communities,” said Oakland County executive David Coulter. “During this time of rising real estate prices, efforts to put real estate to productive use will also help make Oakland County’s affordable housing list a key priority for our communities and our residents.”
Residential and commercial developers with projects in Oakland County can contact Jill Robinson, Assistant Treasurer and Real Estate Specialist, by email at [email protected] to help.
More information: Oakland County Treasurer’s website.