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?
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?)
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?
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?
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.

9. What are the accountability measures for the PLB?
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.