Mow To Own Program

Learn how owners of residential properties can acquire a vacant lot owned by LRA by maintaining it.


 The 'Mow to Own' Program is designed for City residents who wish to acquire a vacant lot owned by LRA.  

The 'Mow to Own' Program is a 'sweat equity' program where residents may take immediate ownership of a vacant lot that is located next to an occupied residential or commercial property that they own, for a nominal fee.  Participants must agree to continually maintain the lot, including regular mows and debris removal, for twenty-four months.  

The LRA Board of Commissioners must approve each transaction.  Following approval by the Board of Commissioners, the successful applicant will receive a deed to the property with a maintenance lien, allowing the property to be reacquired by LRA should the applicant fail to maintain the lot.  

After twenty-four months, if there are no findings of violation from the City's Forestry Division and no complaints, LRA will remove the maintenance lien and the owner will own the property.


Step 1:  Identify An Eligible Lot

Eligible Lots are:

  • Lot may not exceed 40 feet frontage
  • Lot may not be contiguous to three or more LRA, LCRA, or PIEA owned parcels
  • The lot must be the property of the LRA for a minimum of three years
  • Lot must be vacant and unimproved real property

Step 2:  Applicant Qualifications

An applicant to qualify must:

  • Applicants must have paid all real estate taxes on all properties that they own in the City of St. Louis, and have no outstanding violations on those properties
  • Applicants must own property with an occupied residential or commercial structure, immediately adjacent to the desired lot

Step 3:  Maintenance Requirements

During the 24 month period, the applicant must agree to:
  • Keep property free and clear of debris and excess vegetation
  • Comply with City ordinances, including keeping grass cut to no higher than seven inches
  • Pay current real estate taxes assessed on the lot



 To apply for the Mow To Own Program:

  1. Download the Mow To Own application or pick up an application in the LRA office at 1520 Market St., Suite 2000
  2. Fill out the application and return it to the LRA office along with the $25.00 processing fee.
  3. Submit the application by 12:00 noon on the following dates:
January 9, 2019 for the January 30, 2019 meeting
February 6, 2019 for the February 27, 2019 meeting
March 6, 2019 for the March 27, 2019 meeting
April 3, 2019 for the April 24, 2019 meeting
May 8, 2019 for the May 29, 2019 meeting
June 5, 2019 for the June 26, 2019 meeting
July 10, 2019 for the July 31, 2019 meeting
August 7, 2019 for the August 28, 2019 meeting
September 4, 2019 for the September 25, 2019 meeting
October 9, 2019 for the October 30, 2019 meeting
November 26, 2019 for the December 18, 2019 meeting


  • $25.00 application processing fee, cashiers check or money order (non refundable).
  • $100.00 administrative fee, which includes recording costs for the initial deed and the subsequent release of the maintenance item.
  • There is no additional cost for the land itself

Note:  Participants may choose to acquire title insurance at their own cost.

What to Expect

Each application to the Mow To Own program will be reviewed by staff to determine if the parcel meets the program's requirements.

Staff will provide a recommendation to the board of Commissioners regarding the application.

The application will be presented to the Commission at the next available meeting.

If the application is approved by the Board of Commissioners, the successful applicant will receive a deed to the property with a maintenance lien allowing the property to be reacquired by LRA should the applicant fail to maintain the lot.

The LRA Commission meetings are held on the following dates at 8:30 am in the SLDC Board Room at 1520 Market St., Suite 2000.  (All dates and times are subject to change without notice.)

  • January 30, 2019
  • February 27, 2019
  • March 27, 2019
  • April 24, 2019
  • May 29, 2019
  • June 26, 2019
  • July 31, 2019
  • August 28, 2019
  • September 25, 2019
  • October 30, 2019
  • December 18, 2019


Additional Information

 Search Properties Owned by the Land Reutilization Authority


Land Reutilization Authority

(314) 657-3721

1520 Market St., Suite 2000
St. Louis, Mo 63103

8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Contact the Land Reutilization Authority

Was this page helpful?      

Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.

1 comment from someone like you has helped us improve this page. Keep the feedback coming!