Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) Executive Director Krista Trout-Edwards has been chosen to lead the Michigan Association of Land Banks (MALB) for the next two years. She succeeds Kelly Clarke, executive director of the Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority, as president of MALB.

“It’s an honor to take the reins of this association filled with impassioned members who care about their communities,” said Trout-Edwards. “I look forward to building on the success of the last few years and carving a path for land banks across Michigan to be viable for decades to come.”

“I’m pleased to pass the baton to Krista and am confident she will do great things for the association and be an asset for our members throughout the state and policymakers in Lansing,” Clarke said.

Under Clarke’s tenure, MALB released a first-of-its-kind economic impact report to quantify the impact land banks have in Michigan. Key findings of the report include:

  • Land banks have a positive impact on home values and reduce mortgage foreclosure rates and crime rates in communities throughout Michigan.
  • The impact rehabs and demolitions have on property values far outweighs the cost of improving or demolishing a foreclosed property.
  • In order to have an even greater impact in their communities, land banks need more stable and consistent funding from the state.

“The economic impact report validated what we’ve all known for years: Land banks matter, land banks make a difference and land banks have played a significant role in Michigan’s comeback,” Trout-Edwards said.

Joining Trout-Edwards on the board is Marquette County Treasurer Anne Giroux, as vice president, Benzie County Treasurer Michelle Thompson as MALB treasurer and Jeff Huntington, property manager for the Michigan Land Bank, as the board’s new secretary.

Michigan is a pioneer in the land banking movement and has been at the forefront for more than a decade. MALB represents 42 land banks aligned by shared goals of eliminating blight, improving neighborhoods, promoting public safety and serving as catalysts for redevelopment.

Krista Trout Edwards-WBCK YouTube