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Couple celebrates first home thanks to Albany County Land Bank

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ALBANY (WRGB) – Rob Field and his girlfriend Allison are celebrating their first Christmas as homeowners.

They purchased their two-family house on Kenosha Street in Albany, thanks to the Albany County Land Bank.

The house sat vacant for 7 years before the Land Bank acquired it in February 2017. They sold it to Field in August 2017 for $55,000 after a competitive process.

“He not only created a home for himself, but also for another family, another set of residents,” Adam Zaranko with the Land Bank said about choosing Field to buy the house. Field lives in one half, and he rents out the other half.

Field said it was a huge undertaking to renovate. Everything from the plumbing, to the electrical wiring, to the roof, and foundation needed to be fixed. But he said it was worth it and a dream come true.

“We are so thankful for the Land Bank,” Field said. “We went into this thinking we would need $100,000 to buy a place, and it was going to put us back 10 years.”

Thursday, outside the home on Kenosha Street, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy celebrated the Land Bank’s efforts. He presented the group with a check for $250,000 so they can continue their efforts. He said their work creates opportunities and changes neighborhoods for the better.

“It shows if you go into a community and try to make a difference, you can make a difference, and we can stop the blight,” McCoy said.

“We're creating opportunities for people to create homes over and over again throughout every part of Albany County so we really appreciate the support.” Zaranko said.

Zaranko says they are the largest and most active Land Bank in the state, and have put more than 340 properties back in the hands of private owners.

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