Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez held a town hall meeting on December 9th at Sankofa Freedom Academy to talk about the Land Bank legislation which she sponsored this year. It is now law in Philadelphia and will go into effect in January and she took this opportunity to explain what it is and how it will benefit the residents of Frankford.
The purpose of the Land Bank is to return vacant and tax delinquent property to productive reuse. Sounds easy but when you consider the scale of the problem, with as many as 32,000 properties in the city in this category, it becomes a big problem. Many older cities like Philadelphia are in the same situation. The Land Bank legislation along with legislation passed by Pennsylvania that was introduced by State Representative John Taylor, will make this possible. The strategic plan for implementing the Land Bank is due to be approved this week.
What does this mean for Frankford? Residents will find it easier to take over tax delinquent lots adjacent to their homes as side lots. We have many of those in Frankford. People who want to rehab a property will have a single place to go to get title to it. Developers will find one stop shopping for multiple parcels that make rehabbing and building from scratch more financially feasible.
We’ll have more on this as the Frankford CDC begins taking advantage of the opportunities that the Land Bank offers next year. One side effect of the success will be gentrification pressure at property values begin to rise. Have a look at this story on that issue.
Congratulations to Maria for a job well done. It was a long time coming but looks to be a game changer for the city and hopefully Frankford.