Finally, Some Good Foreclosure News — Ohio Gets a Land Bank « The Washington Independent
After a year-long struggle, Ohio is set to establish a land bank to gain control over foreclosed and abandoned properties. It’s a tool hard-hit cities like Cleveland can use to fight back against the damage left behind the mortgage crisis – block after block of foreclosed homes.
Ohio lawmakers gave the idea final approval on Thursday. The governor is expected to sign the bill authorizing the bank into law soon, so it can be up and running early new year.
How happy is Jim Rokakis, the Cuyahoga County Treasurer who has both worked hard for the land bank – and to call attention to Cleveland’s plight? I’ll let him explain, via an email he sent me:
TWI first wrote nearly a year ago about Rokakis and his effort to get a land bank. The idea is modeled after Dan Kildee’s Genesee County Land Bank in Flint, Mich. Land banks buy up or gain control of foreclosed and abandoned properties, then find ways to reuse them. And they turn a profit.
For Cleveland, this means that banks with foreclosed properties on their books that they can’t sell, could choose to donate them to the land bank – which can then try to fix them up, sell them, or tear them down and use the land for something else. It gives the city some measure of control over increasing numbers of deteriorated, abandoned houses that are pulling down property values and creating neighborhood blight.
It’s one, small piece of good news, in a crisis that seems to get worse by the day.