About Us

 

The Huntington Urban Renewal Authority has been operating a Land Bank since 2009, receiving deed to their first properties in 2011.  Huntington is still the only Land Bank in the state of WV, however with the passage of SB 579 which allows for cities, counties, and municipalities to create land reuse agencies we hope to see more Land Banks popping up throughout the state to help tackle the massive burden vacant and abandoned homes put on our communities.  At this time there is still no dedicated funding for Land Banking or Land Reuse Agencies.  Land Banks and Land Reuse Agencies are valuable partners in community redevelopment, engagement, and revitalization of areas suffering from slum and blight.  The goal of the Huntington Land Bank is to improve our community by putting viable properties and land into the ownership of those individuals and groups that will enhance them.  By purchasing delinquent tax liens and offering the subsequent properties for sale through the Land Bank, our goal is to create a vehicle that allows all of us to benefit.

 

Our Mission is to return vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties back into productive use by eliminating slum and blight 

HURA Land Bank:
• Has purchased over 1000 tax tickets since 2009
• Has invested $2,075,427 in the community to tackle problem properties
• Has sold 115 properties back into productive use, generating an estimated $45,000 in annual property tax revenues
• Currently maintains 114 properties
• Demolished 33 structures (at a total cost of $273,180)
• Boarded and secured 20 properties


Consequences of Vacancy and Abandonment:
• Drives down neighboring property values, thwarting investments and diminishing property tax revenues
• “broken window theory”- one broken window leads to more broken windows as it gives the impression no one care
• Creates a breeding ground for drugs and other crimes
• Deters businesses and new residents from locating in the area


Current Obstacles for Land Banks:
Speculators – out of town investors buy up properties solely for the interest and walk away from them at the end of 18 months if not redeemed
Right of first refusal – would allow us to compete with out of town investors with deep pockets, would provide funding for Land Banks through redemption interest
18 month redemption period – tax ticket holder cannot touch property for 18 months, leaving the property to deteriorate and be looted of all valuable components 
Tax deeds- after 18 month redemption period, receive a quick claim deed that is uninsurable making it difficult to get lending and market value for the land
Funding- there is no dedicated funding for Land Banks and Land Reuse Agencies, without right of first refusal and marketable titles, it is near impossible for land banks to be self-sufficient

 

The Land Bank works with many community partners to revitalize these abandoned properties.  We have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and their Veteran's Housing Initiative as well as WVSU Extension SCRATCH Project which provides a hands-on learning community for young urban agripreneurs. We work with first time home owners and property developers that rehab houses and put them back into productive use.  We have opportunities for side-yard expansion, vacant lot adoption, and community engagement.  

 

And of course we love to #LoL

The Life-on-Lots (#LoL) program is a new Land Bank initiative to put vacant lots back into productive use to the benefit of the community.  The program strives to improve neighborhood character, reinvest in the community and beautify vacant properties.  Adopting a lot is a fantastic opportunity for community groups, citizens, churches, non-profits and businesses to have a hand in beautifying their community.  Vacant lots through this program can be used to create community gardens, pocket parks, neighborhood gathering places, and natural playground to name a few.  For more infomation check out our info page and application located below. 

 

Documents

Important Information for All Land Bank Applicants 

Land Bank Application for New Construction or Revision 

Application to Purchase Property for Yard Expansion 

Application for Property Donation 

http://www.huralandbank.com/uploads/AdoptALot_info_sheet.pdf