Land Banking

Graphic showing how Land Banks and Community Land Trusts complement each other.

A land bank is a public entity (like a government authority or non-profit corporation) with unique powers to put vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties back to productive use according to community goals.

A land bank’s primary purpose is to acquire properties that some call “blighted” and temporarily hold and take care of them until they can be transferred to new, responsible owners. State laws give land banks their unique powers. Learn more about land banks from the Center for Community Progress.

In Virginia, local governments can designate existing non-profit organizations as land bank entities, which allows them to transfer city or county property to the organization through a special legal process. The Maggie Walker CLT has been designated as the land bank for the City of Richmond, and Chesterfield and Henrico Counties.

Richmond Land Banking

The City of Richmond designated MWCLT as its land bank in 2018. As of 2023, the Richmond Land Bank program has found new users for 37 vacant properties across the city; 30 were tax-foreclosed properties that would otherwise have been auctioned off to the highest bidder, 6 were City-owned properties that had been designated as surplus, and one was donated by its former owner, Bank of America.

The Richmond Land Bank utilizes a transparent, public, community-driven decision making process led by a volunteer Citizens Advisory Panel.

Photo of a vacant lot with a Richmond Land Bank sign.
Aerial photo of the Ettrick Landing site before construction.
Chesterfield County

Chesterfield County designated MWCLT as its land bank in 2019. After doing so, the County voted to place a former public school property into the land bank, with the intention that it be developed as a subdivision of affordable single-family homes. This property led to the Ettrick Landing project, which will deliver 10 permanently affordable homeownership opportunities to the Ettrick community in southern Chesterfield in 2024.

Henrico County

Henrico County designated MWCLT as its land bank in 2020. The County is currently pursuing several opportunities to transfer public surplus land to MWCLT for the purpose of developing affordable homeownership.

Complete list of properties available upon request per Code of Va. § 15.2-7508.