Calhoun County’s Land Bank has been around for a while, and a new economic impact study says that their efforts have been bearing fruit.

The Michigan Association of Land Banks says that the study was carried out to determine the impact land banks have on their communities, and they looked at the organizations in Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Benzie Counties. According to the study, since 2011 the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority has demolished or rehabbed almost 650 homes, created 87 full time jobs, and put more than $6.3 million back into the community; all told, the economic impact in the county is estimated at $11.4 million.

In Kalamazoo County, the study found that since 2011 $20 million has been driven back into the local economy, with 270 full time jobs being created after things like construction and landscaping are factored in. In Benzie County, meanwhile, their land bank has intervened in 17 properties since 2012, raising nearby home values by 4 percent.

Calhoun County Land Bank executive director Krista Trout-Edwards says that Michigan is a “pioneer of the land bank movement”, with the state’s 42 banks “aligned by shared goals”.

Some findings of the economic impact study that the MALB highlighted in a Tuesday press release:

  • 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 full report on the impact study can be found here.