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Land Bank Puts Homeownership Within Reach

a house with bushes in front of a building

7 Washington Street in the Village of Monticello has 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, and a large back yard.

Monticello, NY – After acquiring long-vacant and rundown properties, the Sullivan County Land Bank is putting two homes back on the market. 

The Land Bank is looking for buyers who will commit to living in the homes as the primary residents, thereby contributing to neighborhood stabilization. Programs are available to assist eligible homebuyers with financing mortgages and repairs.

Since its inception in 2017, the Sullivan County Land Bank has worked to identify and acquire properties that are vacant, delinquent on their taxes, and suffering from disrepair. It acquired 14 properties earlier this year and is reviewing another 35. Much of the housing could not be salvaged, and this summer it demolished nine blighted houses. 

New Hope Community will be maintaining the lawns now growing in place of unsightly buildings that were having negative impacts on area safety, community character and property values. Land Bank-owned vacant lots are for sale along with the two homes to be rehabilitated in the Village of Monticello.

The Land Bank is undertaking major repairs to these homes in order to stabilize them. Buyers have the opportunity to take on a “fixer-upper” and complete the remaining renovations or may propose to purchase the property in move-in condition at a higher price. To apply for one of these houses, potential homebuyers are asked to state their best offer and to briefly explain their approach to renovation.

Freda Eisenberg, Chair of the Sullivan County Land Bank Board of Directors, noted that “although the Land Bank is offering homes for sale, it is not competing with the private real estate market. Instead, the work of the Land Bank is intended to support the private market by addressing ‘problem properties’ rejected by the market because the costs to make them livable exceed the value of the home. The Sullivan County Land Bank uses grant funding to subsidize rehabilitation or, as noted, take down structures that are beyond repair.”

Land Bank Vice Chair Jaqueline Leventoff pointed out that land banks typically sell their properties with requirements to ensure that community goals will be met. 

“We want to see families living in these homes and taking pride in caring for them and their community,” she said. “We will not sell the properties for speculation.”

The deadline to apply for these homes is November 9. To access the application and learn more about these properties, as well as vacant lots available for sale, visit, or call the Land Bank at 845-807-0541.