The Board of Directors for the Kankakee Regional Land Bank Authority (KRLBA) has authorized the hiring of an executive director to lead the organization.
Reverend Dr. Montele Crawford was selected after a nationwide search. Crawford is the Senior Pastor at Morning Star Baptist Church as well as a founding member and
Executive Director of the Key City Community Development
“We are excited to get the Land Bank Authority up and
running with Dr. Crawford,” said Lisa Sanford, KRLBA Board Chair. “Dr. Crawford’s experiences and commitment to community development made him an ideal fit for the role, and the Board was pleased to find the most qualified candidate right here in Kankakee County.”
In his new role, Crawford will oversee the Land Bank Authority’s day to day operations. Operations
include; building partnerships with community stakeholders; implementing strategies to acquire, manage,
and develop vacant, and abandoned tax-delinquent properties in Kankakee County; ultimately returning
those properties to productive use.
“The KRLBA Board of Directors has been working hard for over a year to establish a quality organization
that cares about the future of Kankakee County,” said Sanford. “We hope to acquire our first property
soon, bring it back to the tax rolls, and continue this process with several other properties. We’re
confident that Dr. Crawford will provide strong leadership to guide our efforts.”
“I’m excited to join the Lank Bank Authority and work with the board to make a positive impact in the community,” said Crawford. “I look forward to helping to transform our neighborhoods.”
Crawford holds a doctorate degree from United Theological Seminary. He resides in Bourbonnais with his
wife and their children.
About the KRLBA
The Kankakee Regional Land Bank Authority was created by an inter-governmental agreement between
Kankakee County and the City of Kankakee. The City of Kankakee is funding the compensation and
Kankakee County is housing and providing benefits as a county employee. The Kankakee Regional Land
Bank Authority is a non-profit entity that acquires, holds, manages, and develops vacant, abandoned,
and tax-delinquent properties in Kankakee County. The purpose of a land bank is to stabilize and
revitalize neighborhoods by returning vacant and abandoned properties to productive use.
KRLBA will acquire properties through various means, such as tax foreclosure auctions, donations, or
purchases from private owners. Once acquired, KRLBA may clear title issues and prepare properties for
demolition or reuse, by selling to developers, transferring to community-based organizations, or holding
for future use.
“The Land Bank Authority is an exciting new economic development tool made possible by the Home Rule that was recently passed by the City of Kankakee voters,” said Kankakee Mayor Chris Curtis.
“Kankakee County has seen some exciting new development, but we also must maintain and reinvigorate
areas of the County that have been neglected,” said Kankakee County Board Chairman Andrew
Wheeler. “The Land Bank is a valuable tool for revitalizing neighborhoods and getting distressed
properties back on the tax rolls.”
The other members of the KRLBA Board of Directors with Sanford include: Barbi Brewer-Watson, Gaines
Hall, Victor Nevarez, Joseph Nugent and Matthew Olszewski.