ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is doling out $20.9 million in new grants to 19 land banks in an effort to help them acquire abandoned properties.

The grants are awarded under the Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative. The office of New York Attorney General Schneiderman established the initiative in 2013 with funding secured through settlements with the nation's largest banks over misconduct that contributed to the housing crisis.

The new funding boosts the total to $57 million since the initiative started. Syracuse and Newburgh each will receive $2 million to top the list.

Land banks are nonprofits that can acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties, and rebuild, demolish, or redesign them. As of November, more than 1,995 abandoned properties had been reclaimed and more than 700 had been returned to the market.

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