The Philadelphia Land Bank Board has approved the Land Bank’s 2017 Strategic Plan. The 2017 Strategic Plan will be submitted to City Council this week for its consideration. The Strategic Plan analyzes market conditions and resident needs and identifies opportunities where publicly owned land can support housing, green space and other reuses, and can found at HERE.
“The 2017 Strategic Plan provides goals for the Land Bank and guidance to those who will do business with it,” said Anne Fadullon, director of the City’s Office of Planning and Development. “Our goals include targets for the acquisition and disposition of properties.”
The Strategic Plan includes a target for the acquisition of 1,650 privately owned tax delinquent parcels over the next five years. These parcels will in turn be conveyed to new owners for affordable and market-rate housing, business expansions, community gardens and side yards. At the Jan. 19 meeting, the Land Bank Board approved the Strategic Plan and approved the first sale of a property acquired via Sheriff’s sale for a business expansion.
Over the next five years, the Land Bank will seek to return nearly 2,000 properties to productive use. More than 1,200 of those properties are expected to become homes, with nearly 650 targeted to lower-income Philadelphians.
“We heard from the public about the need for affordable, accessible housing and we listened,” said Tania Nikolic, interim executive director of the Land Bank. “After receiving public input, we doubled our goal of properties targeted for the lowest income families.”
The Strategic Plan also includes other elements to support property reuse. The Land Bank’s new acquisition policy specifies when properties can be acquired, and the disposition policy enables long-term or permanent property use for community gardens.
“The acquisition and disposition policies support the goals set out in the plan,” said Nikolic. “The policies provide clarity on the reuse of parcels so that people looking to acquire properties know what they can and can’t do.”
Under the Land Bank ordinance the Strategic Plan is submitted to City Council for its consideration. The Land Bank’s existing Strategic Plan will remain in place until Council approves the new Plan.