About the Land Bank

1. What is the Pittsburgh Land Bank (PLB) and what is its role?
The PLB is a locally-created, locally-controlled entity whose sole purpose is to return un- or under-productive properties back to productive use, eliminating blight and supporting neighborhood revitalization. It repurposes vacant land and standing structures suitable for community needs and single-family infill development.

2. What is the PLB's Mission Statement?
The mission of the Pittsburgh Land Bank is: to return unproductive real property to beneficial reuse through an equitable, transparent, and public process; to revitalize neighborhoods to strengthen the City of Pittsburgh's tax base; and to support socially and economically diverse communities.

3. What does the PLB have the authority to do?
The PLB has the authority to acquire vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent property to further its mission; contract with third parties; to determine the fair market value of properties; and to determine the potential for renovation of a property.

4. How do these Policies and Procedures get changed or amended? [Section 14.01]
No changes to the PLB's Policies and Procedures, once adopted, can be made without a vote of no less than two-thirds of the then serving Board of Directors.

5. What does the PLB do?
The PLB acquires eligible property, holds and maintains it for a period of time, and then ultimately returns it back to a productive use - either public or private - through a sales process.

6. What are the insurance requirements on land the PLB owns? [Section 11.01]
Each property that the PLB acquires will be covered by general liability insurance for the duration of the PLB’s ownership. The PLB may also choose to purchase casualty insurance for a property on a case-by-case or portfolio basis.

7. How does the PLB prioritize how it spends its resources? [Section 5.02]
The PLB prioritizes its spending based on the following criteria:

  • If a neighborhood plan has been developed with community support (that is, if there’s a neighborhood plan, the PLB’s intervention should help advance the plan's goals);
  • If an intervention can help to remove blight and to stabilize the neighborhood;
  • To support mixed-income development and helps preserve affordability in the neighborhood;
  • If their investment can leverage additional sources of funds.

8. Where does the PLB get its funding? [Section 13.03]
The PLB may be funded through a variety of sources, including public and private grants, government support, collecting rent, proceeds from insurance losses, and dedicating of a portion of future real estate taxes from eligible properties. For more information regarding funding sources, review Section 13.03.

9. What are the accountability measures for the PLB? [Section 13.04]
There are a series of mechanisms to ensure accountability to the public, some of which include:

  • Major financial decisions must be approved by a majority of the entire Board membership;
  • The Board must document key financial statements annually, including a report of its activities; and
  • Submitting an audit annually to the PA Department of Community and Economic Development.