Birmingham Land Bank Authority
The Birmingham Land Bank Authority is a city-funded publicly-appointed group with the legal authority to waive delinquent property taxes and to acquire and consolidate abandoned properties in order to promote their redevelopment.
The idea of establishing a land bank in Birmingham had been discussed many times and was supported, in particular, by the Birmingham Land Reform Coalition. However, many of the coalition's recommendations were not adopted.
Land banking was enabled in Alabama by a law passed in 2009 (Act 2009-738), enrolled into Section 24-9 of the 1975 Code of Alabama. A 2013 amendment, passed as Act 2013-249, expanded the powers of land banks.
For Birmingham, the land bank authority represents a key element of Mayor William Bell's "RISE Birmingham" initiative, which is to also involve streamlined code enforcement, a new property management code, and enforcement of environmental regulations as tools to combat blight and stabilize neighborhoods at risk of decline. Redevelopment efforts would be prioritized based on the recommendations generated in the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan's Community Framework Plans which cover the North Birmingham, Titusville and the western Birmingham communities of Smithfield, West End and Five Points West.
On May 6, 2014 the Birmingham City Council passed a resolution proposed by the Mayor's office to create the city's authority. The resolution established a 7-member board with four members appointed by the Council and three by the Mayor's office (one of whom may be the Mayor). A Citizens Advisory Board was also created, with representatives of each Council District appointed by their respective Council members. The authority's initial budget was created by transferring $370,000 from the city's capital projects budget. The total cost of implementing the "RISE Birmingham" initiative is estimated at $76.3 million.
One element of Birmingham's land banking policy gives residents an option of taking over vacant, delinquent properties which adjoin their own homes if they maintain the properties for three years. As of 2014 there are an estimated 16,000 delinquent properties, many of which have fallen delinquent due to oversights in transferring estates. The city has asked Legal Services of Alabama to assist residents with clearing up such oversights to help homeowners avoid unwanted seizures under the new law.
- Lonnie Hannon III, Chair, appointed by the Mayor in 2020
- Lyord Watson, Vice Chair, appointed by the Mayor in 2019
- Bradley Green, Secretary, appointed by City Council August 21, 2018
- Marshall Anderson, re-appointed by the Mayor, approved by City Council October 2, 2018
- Rob Burton, appointed by City Council August 21, 2018
- Carol Clarke, appointed by the City Council in 2020
- Nolanda Hatcher, appointed by the City Council in 2020
Former Board Members
- Heager Hill, appointed by City Council
- Adam Snyder, appointed by City Council
- Charles Ball, appointed by City Council
- Adam Arrington, appointed by City Council
- Randall Woodfin (as Mayor)
- William Bell (as Mayor)
- John Cantelow, appointed by the Mayor
- Gwendolyn Calhoun, appointed by City Council
- Jason Eppenger, appointed by City Council October 2, 2018
- Chris Cummings, appointed by City Council
- Cantelow was appointed after Mayor Bell's original appointee, Michael German, resigned from the Authority and his second appointment, Joseph Reid, was ineligible because he lived outside the city.
- Davis, Bryan (May 8, 2014) "Land Bank Authority passes, board will target blighted properties." Birmingham Business Journal
- Owens, Cody (June 4, 2014) "Birmingham’s fight against blight." Weld for Birmingham
- Vaughn, Wesley (August 12, 2014) "Birmingham has 16,000 tax-delinquent properties, and other takeaways from the BBA Land Bank Authority Seminar." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (August 19, 2014) "A full house: Birmingham Land Bank Authority to be completed this morning, thousands of vacant properties await distribution." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 9, 2014) "Birmingham Land Bank Authority to hold first meeting following delays, membership changes." The Birmingham News
- Owens, Cody (February 20, 2017) "Who’s using the Birmingham Land Bank Authority?" Weld for Birmingham
- Edgemon, Erin (October 2, 2018) "Birmingham Land Bank raises purchase price of tax-delinquent properties." The Birmingham News