Land Bank FAQs

What is a Land Bank?

A Land Bank is not a financial institution. A bank holds money. A Land Bank holds land. A Land Bank is a public entity created to acquire, manage, maintain, and repurpose vacant, abandoned, foreclosed, blighted properties.

Why did the Commissioners create the Land Bank?

The Washington County Commissioners created a Land Bank for the County in March 2016 to help prevent and reduce blight.

Why is this important? What are the impacts of blighted properties?

Example: A multi-municipal study completed for 41 communities in Allegheny & Westmoreland Counties showed the following financial impacts of blight:

  • $11 mil/year increase in direct costs for municipal services
  • $9 mil/year in lost tax revenue due to abandoned properties and no taxes paid
  • $8-10 mil/year in lost tax revenue due to reduction in surrounding property values
  • $8 mil/year loss in investment & economic development

Source: Delta Development 2013

What are the goals and objectives of the Washington County Land Bank?
  • Reduce blight
  • Increase tax base
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce crime
  • Improve health of residents
  • Prevent properties from becoming blighted
How can municipalities and school districts join the Land Bank?
  • Contact RACW to schedule a meeting to review current blight reduction stategies
  • Code enforcement
  • Inventory blighted properties
  • Community priorities for blight reduction
What are the advantages of joining the Land Bank?

RACW professional staff will provide assistance to the municipalities and school districts.

What are the participation requirements for Municipalities?
  • Execute Intergovernmental Agreement
  • Maintain properties (mow, shovel snow, secure, etc.)
  • Contribute participation fee
  • Identify potential properties for acquisition by Land Bank
  • Assign a municipal representative to work with Land Bank staff
What are the participation requirements for School Districts?
  • Execute Intergovernmental Agreement
  • Identify potential properties for acquisition by Land Bank
Who do I contact if I am interested?

You can contact the Land Bank by phone at 724-228-6875 or fill out our online contact form.