The Cuyahoga Land Bank, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Cuyahoga County Council announced the HomeFront Veterans Home Ownership Program yesterday at a press conference in University Heights. The conference took place at the new home of five-year United States Air Force veteran, Mr. Michael MacMillan Jr. along with his wife Elizabeth and their soon-to-be born first child.
“This is a chance for veterans to own a home on very flexible terms. And, from day one, the object of the program is to establish immediate equity for our veterans,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos.
HomeFront is a pilot program of the Cuyahoga Land Bank that offers assistance to eligible veterans interested in purchasing either a renovated move-in ready home, or a home that will be renovated with the assistance of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.
Veterans interested in purchasing a home for renovation, or a renovated move-in ready home may be eligible for a discount of up to twenty percent (20%) of the purchase price. The Cuyahoga Land Bank also covers closing costs.
All homes meet the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Housing Quality Standards and all applicable point-of-sale requirements.
Veterans who may not yet be bankable but have had steady employment for at least one year may qualify as lease-to-own buyers. The Cuyahoga Land Bank will work with these veterans to promote home ownership through lease-to-own options.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has made veterans’ services a priority. “We can’t match our veterans’ sacrifice and dedication, but we hope to provide a little comfort to those returning veterans and their families by making it just a little easier to come home,” said FitzGerald. “The HomeFront Program will help our veterans become our neighbors.”
The Cuyahoga Land Bank received a $100,000 grant from Cuyahoga County Council’s Veterans Services Fund, which, combined with an additional $100,000 from the Cuyahoga Land Bank, will be used as a revolving loan fund. Because of this structure, HomeFront is a self-sustaining program that allows the Cuyahoga Land Bank to help veterans achieve the dream of home ownership on an ongoing basis.
“Addressing the needs of our veterans is one of my highest priorities as a County Council Member. They serve our nation and often make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. I am pleased to be a partner with the Land Bank and the Administration in establishing this program,” said Councilman Pernel Jones, Jr. who is also a Board Member of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.
County Councilwoman Sunny Simon, who initially proposed a collaboration with the Cuyahoga Land Bank, also lauded the program. “I am excited that we have a program in place to provide home ownership opportunities for veterans.”
County Councilman Dave Greenspan, who identified the County funds from the County budget, praised the Land Bank’s program. “The Veteran’s Services Fund was established for precisely the kind of veteran’s assistance the Land Bank is offering. Council is proud to have funded this program.”
In order to renovate a home through the HomeFront Veterans Program, veterans must:
- intend to live in the property as their primary residence for at least two years;
- agree, at minimum, to renovate the property according to the specifications provided by the Cuyahoga Land Bank;
- satisfy all municipal Point-of-Sale requirements, if the property requires renovation;
- provide satisfactory documentation to the Cuyahoga Land Bank that shows he/she has the ability to finance, at minimum, the cost of acquiring and renovating the property or have the ability to obtain financing within three years;
- agree to follow all the rules and policies as promulgated by the Cuyahoga Land Bank;
- sign a Cuyahoga Land Bank purchase/renovation/lease-to-own contract;
- have a minimum credit score as determined by the Cuyahoga Land Bank;
- have been employed for at least one year.
Properties in the Cuyahoga Land Bank inventory are available to veterans via the HomeFront Veterans’ Home Ownership program.
For more information, please visit the “HomeFront” page of the Cuyahoga Land Bank website.