Why do we need a land bank?

Two Rivers Land Bank Authority (TRLBA) exists to help our member communities address properties that are or may become vacant, tax delinquent, distressed, and/or abandoned. Our role is to support their efforts and increase the capacity for all of our members by being an “on demand” service provider.

While the number of distressed properties in our communities varies and in some cases is only a handful, even one distressed property can bring down the values of other properties and contribute to above-average demands for municipal services and reduce quality of life for everyone else.

For more information on land banks and land banking generally, visit the Center for Community Progress Land Banking FAQs.

How is the land bank funded?

TRLBA is funded with government grants, private contributions and proceeds from real estate activities and program services. A small amount of our funding was provided in the form of seed funding, but most of the funding is money obtained by grants from the State of Illinois specifically for land banks.

How does the land bank work with member communities?

TRLBA operates in service to its member communities. We receive property from our members, work with our members to identify properties deserving attention, and develop strategies to improve properties according to community plans and priorities. Under our bylaws, TRLBA can only accept or work on property where the local member community is supportive of our involvement.

Who is responsible for the governance and operations of the Land Bank?

TRLBA is governed by a Board of Directors, comprising representatives from our member communities. Our bylaws also allow for additional directors.

Joining the Land Bank

The land bank is open to local governments located in Adams County, IL and Morgan County, IL. The land bank is considering expansion beyond these counties, pending available resources to support such expansion. If your community is interested in joining the TRLBA or learning more, please contact Executive Director Chad Frederick.

Are there other land banks like TRLBA?

TRLBA is one of several Illinois land banks and one of approximately 200 organized across the United States. TRLBA is organized through an intergovernmental agreement of its members, just like the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority in the south Chicagoland region, the Northern Illinois Regional Land Bank Authority in the greater Rockford area, and the Central Illinois Land Bank Authority in Vermilion County, Champaign County, and Decatur. . Other lands banks in Illinois include Cook County and Lake County.

How does the land bank acquire property?

TRLBA acquires properties in accordance with its policies & procedures. The main source of properties are surplus properties, properties acquired via the Tax Trustee, and donations from private parties. The Land Bank can also purchase properties or accept properties via conveyance from a member community.

Who owns this Property?

The land bank owns a relatively small amount of property in our member communities.

Does land bank work on residential and commercial properties?

Yes, TRLBA works on both residential and commercial properties; however, all of the funding we receive from IHDA is geared to 1-6 unit residential . We are especially interested in acquiring or partnering on the redevelopment of vacant land and commercial property. Industrial sites and former or potential brownfields are also of interest but involve more risk and are less of a priority at this time. Contact Chad Frederick for more information on non-residential properties.

Does TRLBA accept donations?

Yes! TRLBA welcomes the donation of cash contributions and property. We are especially interested in receiving donated or discounted REO property from financial institutions.

Donors may receive a credit for tax purposes. Consult your legal counsel or tax advisor for more information about the tax advantages of donating to TRLBA. 

How can I get property through the land bank?

TRLBA posts all property available for conveyance (sale/donation/transfer) on our website. Please visit Our Properties to see the current inventory. If you are interested in acquiring a listed property or properties, please submit an application and review our Disposition Policies prior to submitting. Once the application is received, we will review it to ensure information is complete and your intended use meets our policies.

How long does it take to acquire property?

We try to process applications on a first-come/first-served basis and will convey property to eligible and approved applicants as quickly as we can. It can take as little as 45 days or can take longer, depending on the circumstances. The more complete the application and the closer it aligns to our policies, the faster it can go.

Is property free?

No. Under our policies, we are required to collect our costs or the appraised value, whichever is greater. Under certain circumstances and with approval of our board, we can convey a property for less than total costs or appraised value.

Does the land bank work with investors?

We do not have a preference for or prohibition against selling to investors. We will also convey property to private individuals and community organizations. So long as the person or entity acquiring property from us agrees to put it to productive reuse under the terms of our conveyance agreement and/or policy, we want to work with them.