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Rochester Land Bank Corporation

About the Land Bank

The purpose of the land bank is to acquire, hold and dispose of real property that is vacant, abandoned or underutilized for purposes of returning those properties to productive use. This goal will be met through judicious use of land bank powers enumerated in Section 1600 of the NY Not-for-profit Corporation Law (known as the “Land Bank Act”) to specifically facilitate, manage, and implement City of Rochester designated community development projects or redevelopment plans.

The focus of the land bank is systematic treatment of vacant property consistent with the development strategies and policies created by City government and community members. The land bank will acquire and dispose of real property when a disposition strategy has been identified within the context of City designated community development projects or redevelopment plans. The disposition strategy may include holding the property in the land bank for a period of time, demolition, sale to a developer or other strategies.

Land Bank Mission Statement

The Rochester Land Bank Corporation will return underutilized property to productive use, preserve and create quality housing, enhance the quality of life within neighborhoods, and encourage economic opportunities.

Rochester LandBank Corporation


Rochester Land Bank Corporation

Land Bank Leadership and Committees

Current Board of Directors

City Treasurer: John Fornof, Board Treasurer - Appointed February 2022

Prior to City Treasurer, John Fornof held positions with the City such as Deputy City Treasurer and Senior Analyst, Office of Management and Budget.  Mr. Fornof holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  

Director of Development Services: Erik Frisch, Board Chair - Appointed February 2022

Erik Frisch is Deputy Commissioner of the City of Rochester’s Department of Neighborhood & Business Development. In this role since January 2022, he oversees the Bureau of Business & Housing Development.  Mr. Frisch has been with the City of Rochester since 2007, also serving as Manager of Special Projects in the Department of Environmental Services (2018-2021), overseeing coordination of the ROC the Riverway initiative and the Inner Loop North Transformation, and as the City’s Transportation Specialist (2007-2018), where he managed the City’s transportation planning, traffic calming, and traffic control functions. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Geography from Clark University in Worcester, MA and a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo (NY).

Manager of Housing: Carol Wheeler, Board Vice-Chair - Appointed October 2013

Employed the City for over 30 years, Mrs. Wheeler has worked as a Neighborhood Coordinator, Senior Community Housing Planner and since 2006, the Manager of Housing which involves the planning and implementation of housing programs and projects, oversight of entitlement grants, CDBG, HOPWA, HOME and ESG, Homeownership Assistance programs and the development of both rental and ownership housing.  Prior employment included working at the Urban League as their Coordinator for a community-based, staffed housing program and a Community Planning Specialist.  Mrs. Wheeler attended Shaw University for undergraduate study and graduate study at Pratt Institute where she concentrated in Community Economic Development.

Director of Buildings and Zoning: Kurt Martin - Appointed November 2019

Kurt Martin is the Director of Buildings and Compliance for the City of Rochester.  Prior to that he served the City in positions including Director of Buildings and Zoning and as Manager of Code Enforcement where, during his tenure, the City of Rochester adopted and implemented proactive code enforcement programs including the Renewable Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) Program and the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Ordinance for which it received the Healthy Homes Award from the U.S. Department of Homes and Urban Development (HUD)

City Council Chief of Staff: Jim Smith - Appointed February 2022

James Patrick Smith is the current Chief of Staff to Rochester City Council. He has served in City Government since 2015 in a number of roles prior to becoming Council Chief of Staff – including Deputy Mayor and Director of Communications. Most notably, Mr. Smith served as Mayor of Rochester, albeit briefly, which made him the City’s first openly LGBTQ+ chief executive. His public service also includes stints as the Deputy Monroe County Executive; Executive Director of the Monroe County Water Authority; and Seneca County Manager. Mr. Smith is a graduate of SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.  

Mayor's Appointee: Eric Van Dusen - Appointed March 2022

Eric Van Dusen is ESL Federal Credit Union Manager for Community Impact with oversight over Community Impact team members, their grant making activities, as well as strengthening internal and external partnerships. Eric brings over 30 years’ experience in the Housing and Community Development field, including working with the Group 14621 Neighborhood Association, NeighborWorks Rochester, Grace Urban Ministries, The Housing Council and the City of Rochester as a Senior Economic Development Specialist.  His community involvement includes having served on the Rochester Zoning Board, Teen Empowerment’s Advisory Board and NeighborWorks America’s Community Initiatives National Advisory Board.

City Council President's Appointee: Lashay Harris, Board Secretary - Appointed September 2020

LaShay Harris has served on the City Council since 2019.  She serves as chair of Council's Recreation and Human Services Committee, and has marked her time in office by advocating for youth services and more investment in public safety. In 2023, Ms. Harris was elected to a second term as regional director of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO).  Ms. Harris works as the coordinator of the Career Pathways to Public Safety Program at the Rochester City School District and is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. 

Executive Management

Executive Director: Paul Scuderi

Paul Scuderi, Director of Real Estate for the City of Rochester since 2016, has served as ex-officio Executive Director of Rochester Land Bank Corporation during that time.  Mr. Scuderi served as Assistant Director of Real Estate for ten years prior to his appointment as Director and for several years as Town Assessor in surrounding communities.  He has been a Certified Real Estate Appraiser since 1998 and is a gradtate of the State University of New York at Buffalo.


The committees of the Rochester Land Bank Corporation Board meet on an as needed basis.  An annual meeting of the Audit Committee occurs each September prior to the Land Banks's Annual Board Meeting as required by Public Authority Law.  Meetings of Land Bank committees that can be defined as public bodies are noticed in accordance with Article 7, Section 104 of Public Officers law.

  • Carol Wheeler
  • LaShay Harris
  • Kurt Martin
  • Eric Van Dusen

  • John Fornof
  • Erik Frisch
  • Jim Smith

  • John Fornof
  • Erik Frisch
  • Kurt Martin

Land Bank Policies and FAQ


Lank Bank FAQ

A Land Bank is a not- for-profit corporation, as established by enactment of Article 16 of the NYS Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “Land Bank Act”), whose mission is to return underutilized property to productive use, preserve and create quality housing, enhance the quality of life within neighborhoods, and encourage economic opportunities. 

Follow the link to view the RLBC’s current inventory and the disposition of its past inventory.

The NYS Office of the Attorney General procured settlements surrounding misconduct by financial institutions leading up to the housing crisis of 2008 and made the settlement funds available to NYS land banks in the form of grants. The RLBC has applied for and been awarded grant funding biannually since 2014 and has successfully used the funds to carry out its mission.

The RLBC may acquire real property or interests in real property by gift, devise, transfer, exchange, foreclosure, purchase or otherwise on terms and conditions and in a manner the land bank considers proper. Acquisitions must comply with Article 16 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, the Land Bank Act.

The main source of property acquisitions for the RLBC is the City of Rochester Tax Foreclosure Auction which generally takes place every November.

Contact the Rochester Land Bank at or 585-428-7320