State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is presenting more than $12 million in grant money for local land banks in Rochester and other upstate cities.
The money comes from the National Mortgage Settlement worked out with the nation's biggest lenders. It's being applied through a state law adopted after the collapse of the housing market triggered the recession.
It allows non-profit groups to set up land banks: acquiring vacant, abandoned or foreclosed properties. It clears red tape and speeds the process of demolishing old buildings and clearing the land for possible redevelopment.