How is a land bank different from a redevelopment authority?

In a few states, legislation has been passed that grants redevelopment authorities many of the same powers as land banks. In Louisiana, for example, some redevelopment authorities can also function as land banks. However, in most states, redevelopment authorities and land banks differ both in terms of their legal powers and their mission.

Land banks typically implement disposition policies that allow greater flexibility than a redevelopment authority in terms of "transferees" and consideration. However, unlike many redevelopment authorities, land banks do not have the power of eminent domain, nor do land banks have the power to tax.

As for mission, many land banks are focused on acquiring, stabilizing and returning to productive use those properties that are considered to have the most blighting influence in a community. These are properties that may not have an immediate redevelopment opportunity, but are destabilizing neighborhoods and undermining quality of life.

In comparison, a redevelopment authority is typically focused on properties with near-term redevelopment potential and on large scale development projects that align with highly visible and long-term economic development goals.