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Over 20 Organizations Participate in Roundtable Hosted by Land Bank

a group of people sitting at a table

Housing Roundtable attendees work together to envision a funding, partnership, and implementation plan for an upcoming Sullivan County Land Bank redevelopment project.

Monticello, NY – On September 25, the Sullivan County Land Bank convened a Housing Roundtable to discuss housing-related problems and opportunities in the County.

Held at the community room in Monticello’s West Broadway Villas, the event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and experts to identify the most pressing housing problems in the area, with a particular focus on the villages of Monticello and Liberty.

According to a survey of attendees, 22% said that housing for low-income and homeless families was the most pressing issue, 19% articulated an urgent need to improve the physical quality of substandard housing, and 17% believe there are too few houses to meet the needs of middle-class families.

Other important issues identified included:

  • A shortage of quality rental properties
  • Lack of educational resources for potential homebuyers
  • Limited transportation options

The event was moderated by Sullivan County Assistant Planning Commissioner Jill Weyer, who spoke about the abilities of the Land Bank to begin resolving some of these problems alongside community partners. Guest speaker Andrew Masters, from housing consultant Opportunity360, discussed tools and resources for communities to create data- and community-driven policies.

What is the Land Bank?

“Land banks generally acquire title to problem properties, eliminate liabilities, and transfer the parcels to new, responsible owners. They fill in gaps where the market is not meeting community needs, and ‘bank’ properties for assemblage and redevelopment,” explained District 9 Legislator Alan Sorensen, chair of the Legislature’s Planning Committee. “The mission of the Sullivan County Land Bank is ‘to strengthen neighborhoods by mitigating blight through strategic property acquisition that will create vibrant neighborhoods, increase homeownership, stimulate economic growth and support community development by returning properties to productive use and improve quality of life.’”

Since its founding in 2017, the Sullivan County Land Bank has:

  • Acquired 14 properties
  • Initiated the acquisition of an additional 35 properties
  • Started work on two larger multi-parcel development projects

“The Land Bank will continue to engage community stakeholders and housing experts as it works to renovate, improve, and develop the housing stock throughout the County,” said Planning Commissioner and Land Bank Board Chair Freda Eisenberg. “Housing plays a key role in both public health and economic development, and the Land Bank is committed to working with a broad variety of partners to address the challenges that were identified during this roundtable.”

For more information about the Sullivan County Land Bank, contact Sullivan County Senior Planner Eugenia Manwelyan at Eugenia.Manwelyan@co.sullivan.ny.us or call the Sullivan County Land Bank at 845-807-0541.