Take Action Now to Rebuild Our Neighborhoods

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Home Was Where the Heart Lived, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Moe M’s photostream

 

Dear Friend,

Many of our communities are powerless today to slum landlords, vacant buildings and blighted properties. They invite crime and neglect into our neighborhoods, robbing them of their promise and pushing them to the brink.

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Green Building, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Zach’s photostream

This is why we need a land bank.

There is a bill before City Council right now that would revolutionize our ability to recycle abandoned, neglected properties and put them back into productive use.

I am asking you to e-mail City Council today and tell them that we need the Land Bank Bill to pass.

email-city-council-button If this button doesn’t work with your email program, here are the addresses to copy & paste:
darlene.harris@pittsburghpa.gov; theresa.kail-smith@pittsburghpa.gov; bruce.kraus@pittsburghpa.gov;
natalia.rudiak@pittsburghpa.gov; corey.oconnor@pittsburghpa.gov; daniel.lavelle@pittsburghpa.gov
deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov; daniel.gilman@pittsburghpa.gov; reverend.burgess@pittsburghpa.gov

We have worked closely with community leaders and members of Council from across our city, but especially with African American leaders in the neighborhoods that would be most affected. What we have today is a consensus bill, supported by a wide coalition of community leaders, and born from weeks of discussions and amendments. This is a good bill, and it is one that our city needs.

Under current laws it would take the city more than 60 years to work through our blighted and abandoned property. With a land bank, it would take less than nine. And it would do it by turning the keys back over to communities to lead these efforts. A land bank would allow us to acquire properties, clear titles and extinguish liens at a much faster rate than we can now.

But it would also have extra board seats for representation from neighborhoods with the most blighted and vacant land, a requirement that land sold through the land bank comply with community plans, and a community appeals process for challenging sales that neighbors don’t like. It also requires the land bank to pay fair wages, to hire locally, and to support the communities where they do the most work.

A land bank puts control of land in our neighborhoods back in the hands of the people who live there and takes it away from speculators, suburban business interests, and slum landlords.

That’s why land banks have been strongly supported by groups like the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, the Center for Community Progress, Smart Growth America, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, and even President Barack Obama.

Pittsburgh needs this bill to pass, so I am asking you to e-mail City Council today and tell them that we need the land bank.

email-city-council-button If this button doesn’t work with your email program, here are the addresses to copy & paste:
darlene.harris@pittsburghpa.gov; theresa.kail-smith@pittsburghpa.gov; bruce.kraus@pittsburghpa.gov;
natalia.rudiak@pittsburghpa.gov; corey.oconnor@pittsburghpa.gov; daniel.lavelle@pittsburghpa.gov
deborah.gross@pittsburghpa.gov; daniel.gilman@pittsburghpa.gov; reverend.burgess@pittsburghpa.gov

 

Sincerely,
Mayor Peduto

 

PS. Follow the links below to learn more about the power of a community-driven land bank:

- Pittsburgh’s Proposed Land Bank

- The Top 10 Things You Should Know About Pennsylvania’s Land Bank Legislation, by The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania