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Economy and Business

County land bank concept alive and well in northeast Ohio
Since 2008 the nonprofit Cuyahoga County land bank has handled over a thousand abandoned and tax dilinquent properties

Tim Rudell
Jim Rokakis spearheaded the start of the Cuyahoga County land bank and is helping other counties get them underway.
Courtesy of Tim Rudell
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In The Region:
A pioneering program to help northeast Ohio communities deal with urban blight will continue.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank are renewing a 2010 agreement to work together on clearing or rehabbing abandoned and dilapidated property
RUDELL: Land bank moves

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Old problem

Swaths of blighted housing in and around Cleveland can look like background for a post-apocalyptic movie. They’re also toxic to real estate values.

A new approach

 So, the non-profit Cuyahoga County Land Bank was formed in 2008 to deal with the problem — sometimes rehabbing, sometimes tearing down old dwellings; and often expanding green spaces.  The program was one of the first in the country.  And last year HUD joined in, turning over properties it gets through foreclosures.

Going forward

 HUD’s re-upping for another year.  Former Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis helped create the land bank, and applauds the move. But he says it would be better if HUD also helped finance demolition: “Because most of those properties end up meeting a wrecking ball--they’re in really bad shape—I just wish HUD would attach a check with those properties. 

The Cuyahoga County program has acquired 1,300 properties. Half a dozen other large counties in Ohio are now planning land banks.


Related WKSU Stories

Movement to bank land builds throughout northeast Ohio
Monday, December 5, 2011

An alternative to the demo squad
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cuyahoga land bank clearing big section of East Cleveland
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bank donates foreclosed homes to Cuyahoga County
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cost of local government: $20 billion
Thursday, May 26, 2011

Land bank bill signed into law
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

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