State of the Land Report: February 2023

State of the Land Report

The State of the Land Report is our monthly update where we will be educating and sharing out about everything you need to know about vacant land policy in the City of Pittsburgh!

State of the Land Updates

Why does the Tri-Party Cooperation Agreement matter for the Pittsburgh Land Bank?

The Tri-Party Cooperation Agreement is an intergovernmental agreement that is allowed under the The Pittsburgh Land Bank legislation that was passed back in 2014. The agreement allows for the the Pittsburgh Land Bank, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the City of Pittsburgh to transfer and transact publicly owned land between the entities. However, the system currently only allows for:

  • The City of Pittsburgh to Transfer Land to the Urban Redevelopment Authority 
  • The Urban Redevelopment Authority to Transfer Land to the City of Pittsburgh
  • The Pittsburgh Land Bank to Transfer Land to the City of Pittsburgh 
  • The Pittsburgh Land Bank to Transfer Land to the Urban Redevelopment Authority 

Currently, the agreement prevents the City or the URA from transferring land to the Pittsburgh Land Bank. Back in the June 2022, it was proposed that the ordinance be amended to finally allow the Pittsburgh Land Bank to have land transferred to them. However, this amendment was been tabled due to concerns from City Council regarding their power to approve the transfer the Pittsburgh Land Bank being removed with this amendment.

As of the last Pittsburgh Land Bank Board Meeting, they are currently awaiting Council to announce the Public Hearing and Post Agenda Meeting dates. Stay tuned for Calls to Action and Public Comment Prep!

We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on this process? How do you want to see land recycled in the City of Pittsburgh? 

Policy Updates 

Urban Redevelopment Authority and Land Bank Updates

City of Pittsburgh to launch grant program for first-time, low-income homebuyers

New URA director faces enduring problems with fresh-faced staff

‘Lawyer of the Day’ helps tenants facing eviction in 4 Pittsburgh District Courts 


City Council and City of Pittsburgh Updates and Meeting Highlights

New members signal new era for Pittsburgh’s Art and Civic Design commission

  • Executive Director of Grounded Strategies, Ariam Ford, was selected and confirmed as one of the new members of the Civic Design Commission  

After 5 months, City Council advances a plan to use city property to aid Pittsburgh’s homeless


Community Updates

Historic Wabash Bridge Piers on the Monongahela River sold to anonymous buyer


State of Pennsylvania Updates

Pa. water plan urges more resources to protect against flooding, pollution

Thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners promised mortgage relief in the pandemic are still waiting 

Pennsylvania buys Susquehanna River islands for conservation 

Allegheny County will pay extra to landlords who rent to people exiting homelessness

Kilbuck Township’s Vinegar Hollow purchased by conservation group as part of greenway restoration


Outside of Pennsylvania Updates

With new rules in place, the St. Louis land bank prepares to lift its sales moratorium

Advocacy Network

Thank you for subscribing to our advocacy network, if you have not already done so please subscribe here.

Grounded is working to improve the condition of vacant lots by developing sustainable solutions that can address the environmental and racial injustices currently entrenched in our property management system. The lack of a comprehensive and unified strategy to care for vacant lots disproportionately affects low-income communities of color.

We must ensure that the process of land recycling and maintenance is conducted equitably, transparently, and through an anti-racist framework. Help make change happen in local, state, and federal land-use policies, voice your concerns about vacant land in your community, share how you want to see vacant land transformed, and support your neighbors in obtaining land access and ownership.

Join Our Advocacy Network!

Additional Resources

Allegheny County Medical Society Life Planning Fair 

Celebrating 15 Years of Grounded

The 15 Years of Grounded campaign celebrates our organization’s founding by highlighting 15 projects that have helped communities and residents find new ways to get outside, relieve stress, and beautify their neighborhoods. Come back daily to see which projects we highlight as we look back at the past 15 years. Help keep us Grounded and donate here.



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