New leadership brings community collaboration to the forefront.
With standing inventory of housing down, vacant land availability up and limited grant money to put to good use, the Ingham County Land Bank’s priority is continued effectiveness at community and economic development. And its new executive director understands that community partnerships and collaboration are tools for making good things happen. Jeanna Paluzzi has been named as the new executive director of the Ingham County Land Bank, a county authority and strategic economic tool that supports growth and investment in the community.
A Michigan State University graduate, Paluzzi served as executive director for the Clinton River Watershed Council in southeast Michigan, where she helped establish the urban revitalization benefits of innovative creek restoration and stormwater management strategies. Since then she has held leadership positions throughout Michigan and Colorado in home improvement sales management, water resources, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Over my career, I have fostered sustainable and resilient communities and families by listening for needs, then leading effective programs and organizations designed to address them,” Paluzzi says. “While my time out west gave me valuable experiences, my natural habitat is the Great Lakes State. I came home to invest my talents and drive more innovation and community impact.”
Ingham County Land Bank was created in 2005 to return tax reverted, purchased and donated land to productive use. Today, the Land Bank works with neighborhood groups, agencies, organizations and developers to restore properties as neighborhood assets. The Land Bank sells some vacant lots as side lots to next door neighbors, builds new homes as in-fill development on others, and supports community gardens and urban agriculture. It rehabs some properties for sale or rent at either affordable housing or market rates, and sells other properties to private sector developers and investors for new construction or rehabilitation. The Land Bank will also demolish blighted properties.
With Paluzzi’s passion for collaboration, she is looking forward to working with communities to continue the Land Bank’s work in creating place, community and opportunity.
“A long but patient search by our board was well worth the wait,” said Eric Schertzing, Ingham County Treasurer and board chair of the Ingham County Land Bank. “Jeanna is someone able to jump in with two feet to many of the housing and land issues our Land Bank and community need to address. I’m looking forward to her vision and leadership as we make mid-Michigan an even better place to live, learn and earn.”
Land banking is a strategic economic tool that supports growth and investment within the community. Dedicated to improving the quality of neighborhoods and strengthening Greater Lansing, the Ingham County Land Bank was created in 2005 to return tax reverted, purchased, donated and unclaimed land to productive use. For more information, visit www.inghamlandbank.org.