Last week HB 821, also known as the land bank bill, was Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed by a vote of 108 to 37. HB 821 is the legislation that will allow St. Joseph to create a land bank with the ultimate goal of getting abandoned properties in the hands of responsible owners. According to a 2017 American Community Survey, St. Joseph has 4,891 vacant housing units which is 14.6 percent of the total housing units in the city limits. HB 821 will give an incentive for responsible borrowers to invest in these properties and either bring them up to a safe standard or possibly tear them down and rebuild.
“I am grateful to have been able to get this bill through the maze that we call the legislative process. I have always said, killing a bill is the easiest thing you can do in Jefferson City, but passing one is a totally different story. I look forward to the Governor considering HB 821 and signing it into law” said Rep. Sheila Solon.
“The Land Bank will be an important tool to assist in revitalizing our older neighborhoods,” said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. “This is a process today that can take years to address and often is not worth the effort. With the St. Joseph Land Bank, we now have a process that will allow the community to be proactive in addressing abandoned housing and an opportunity to further enhance our neighborhoods. I want to acknowledge the efforts of not only Rep. Sheila Solon, but also Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, who handled the bill in the Senate, and the support of Reps. Shields and Falkner.”
The governor has up to 45 days upon legislative adjournment to either sign or veto bills sent to him. If he takes no action they become law without his signature.