LAND MANAGEMENT

PHDC oversees the management of much of the vacant land in the public inventory. Working through the Land Bank it manages the strategic acquisition of privately owned, tax-delinquent vacant properties. Its acquisition and disposition strategies seek to advance City goals and strengthen Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Read the FAQs.

Land Management FAQs

Can I find a home to live in on this website?

No, probably not. Most of the properties on this website are vacant land, and the buildings that are available are mostly shells and not appropriate for someone to live in without significant rehabilitation.

If you need emergency shelter – a place to live in today – the Office of Homeless Services offers resources for individuals, single parents with children and families with children.

If you are looking to rent a property, you might want to start by visiting www.pahousingsearch.com, by looking in neighborhood newspapers in a neighborhood you’d like to live in, or by contacting a realtor who works with rental properties. If you are looking to buy a home, you might want to start by contacting a realtor, looking in newspapers, or consulting the many home-buying resources on the web.

If you are a low- or moderate-income household you might want to consult with a housing counseling agency, especially if you are buying your first home or if you haven’t owned a home in the past three years.

How can I stay informed about PHDC’s Land Management activities?

Complete the Land Management Sign up for Notification of RFPs Form  to receive updates on such opportunities as, Development RFPs and Construction RFPs. You can also follow the  Department of Planning and Development on Twitter.

What is the Philadelphia Land Bank?

The Philadelphia Land Bank is a public agency with the mission of reactivating vacant land. It has the legal authority to acquire vacant and tax-delinquent properties to repurpose them. The Land Bank develops land disposition policies that it and other City land-holding agencies follow. It has a Strategic Plan that informs future use of currently vacant land. PHDC staff conduct the Land Bank’s day-to-day activities.

How does PHDC decide on future uses of its properties?

The Philadelphia Land Bank has developed a Strategic Plan – informed by data, stakeholder concerns, citywide and neighborhood plans, and public comment – that lays out a vision in which vacant properties become tools for neighborhood revitalization. That Strategic Plan guides the future use of properties managed by PHDC.

Who can buy property listed here?

Any individual, developer, or organization with no outstanding tax or property-related liens can seek to purchase a parcel through PHDC. Purchasers must reuse the property in compliance with City code requirements and ordinances, have the financial ability to purchase the property, and have the capacity to complete the work associated with the reuse plan. In many cases purchasers will be asked to sign a redeveloper’s agreement with PHDC.

Most uses will fall under one of these categories:

  • Side/Rear Yard
  • Community Garden
  • Residential or Commercial Development

If you qualify for a side yard, rear yard or community garden, follow the guidelines on their respective pages:

If you are interested in a specific property for residential or commercial development, check out the BUY LAND section of this website.

See the Disposition Policies for more information.

Can I buy a building and rehab it to live in?

Yes, although almost every building listed here will need significant rehabilitation before it can be used.

How can I find development opportunities?

Properties are made available through a Request for Proposals (RFPs).

You can receive updates on new RFPs by completing the Land Management’s Sign up for Notification of RFPs Form.

For development that benefits the community, such as affordable housing, the property may be offered at a discounted or nominal price.

See the Disposition Policies for more information.

Can I buy a property for a yard?

Information is available on our Side and Rear Yard page.

Can I obtain land for a garden or farm?

Yes, property can be purchased or leased to be used as an individual or community garden. Check out the “Community Gardens” page.

Can I buy a property at a discounted price?

If a property serves a public purpose, like affordable housing, City-supported economic development or community development, you may be able to buy  the property at a discounted or nominal price. Side/rear yards may also be eligible for sale at a nominal price.

See the Disposition Policies for more information.