PITTSBURG, Kan. —Pittsburg’s land bank program has been around for a few years.
In short, the program allows the city to take abandoned property and clean it up, for the city to use.
Lately, the city has seen new interest in the program.
One Pittsburg resident recently discovered this housing revitalization program and decided to fix up a property falling apart, to use as a rental, and to bring more people into the town.
“He took a property that honestly was probably slated for demo as the valuation of it kind of continued to diminish, he took that property and he said he could save it, he took the initiative and he sure did save it,” said Quentin Holmes, Director of Housing and community development for the city of Pittsburg.
City officials say they have already seen success having this program in place, and it’s helped renew Pittsburg.
“If we can save it’ll keep those materials from a landfill, it puts a new home in our system, for a new family to move to town…to help revitalize our town…it has definitely allowed for middle-income families to be able to move to Pittsburg or move into a rental, into their first home,” Holmes said.
Larry Seward, the latest owner of one of Pittsburg’s land banks said when he first got a hold of the property, it was practically falling apart.
“Oh my goodness it was in bad shape, had holes in the roof, holes in the wall, holes in the floor, it was in very very bad shape, but the structure was sound, the foundation was sound,” said Seward.
He says through this program and his newly renovated land bank that he will rent, he hopes to bring more people into Pittsburg,
“I think housing in whole, better housing, better rental, will bring people back into Pittsburg more…when we bring people in from out of town the one thing that they complain about the most is the housing market, they end up going to carl junction, they can get better housing, that’s why I think what the city is doing with these new housing developments is critical,” Seward said.
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