Redevelopment authorities may be organized by cities and counties. They are governed by a board of five members appointed for a five-year term by the city mayor or the board of county commissioners.
Redevelopment authorities have the power to condemn properties in designated blighted areas under eminent domain, to clear the land and resell it to private interests for redevelopment. Any redevelopment proposal must be approved in advance by the local governing body. Each sale of land within a redevelopment area must also be approved by the governing body.
Authorities may acquire blighted properties located outside a certified redevelopment area. Such properties must be certified to the authority by a blighted property review committee with representation from the governing body, the redevelopment authority, the planning commission and the chief executive officer. A 1988 amendment to the Urban Redevelopment Law authorizes redevelopment authorities to finance the purchase, construction, rehabilitation, demolition or equipping of commercial or industrial development projects or residential housing projects.
Redevelopment authorities also may make loans to owners, purchasers or financial institutions for these purposes. These projects are to have a reasonable likelihood of preventing, slowing or reversing the deterioration of a designated area. Redevelopment authorities may issue bonds backed by a pledge of revenues or mortgages of real estate. Redevelopment authorities rely heavily on federal community development block grant funds, now channeled through the city or county, to carry out their projects.