State Senator Linda Coleman.
“There are people who would develop or rehabilitate some of these old, historic houses if they can get ownership of some of these properties,” Coleman said.
Under the new rules, the state will waive its lien and transfer the state’s interest to the new local land banks.
Local governments may then offer the property to entities for redevelopment. The new law also expands notification provisions for property owners who are still allowed to redeem their properties if they pay the back taxes.
Coleman stressed that the law was not designed to take away an owner’s property, but to put long abandoned land back to productive use.
Coleman and city officials said the provision opens several possibilities for Birmingham, including residential redevelopment and economic development.
“Economic development people are already trying to assemble sites for people who want to come here. The problem is you’ve got a piece in the middle with no clear title to it. This whole current process caused blight. This was always the missing piece because the process was too cumbersome.”