Partner Feature: Following Neighborhood Stabilization Expert Frank Ford

After 14 years at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, neighborhood stabilization expert and valuable Cuyahoga Land Bank partner Frank Ford has taken the next step in his career by joining another expert in the field – Jim Rokakis – at Thriving Communities Institute, a program of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
frank_fordAs Senior Policy Advisor at Thriving Communities, Frank will apply his expertise to fight the effects of vacancy and abandonment by conducting investigative and applied research on foreclosure, vacant property and neighborhood stabilization.
Notable research conducted by Frank includes a September study on the latest foreclosure trends and participation in a recent Washington Post investigative report on the practices of companies that invest in tax liens.  Stay tuned for a Harvard University study that Frank is wrapping up on the business practices of investors who buy REO (Real Estate owned) property coming out of foreclosure.   Harvard is looking at four diverse urban cities – Cleveland, Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas.   Frank, who leads the Cleveland study, has put together a team that includes Michael Schramm and April Hirsh from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Professor Robin Dubin from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU, Kat Clover from Cleveland Marshall Law School and Jeff Marks of Marks Housing Consultants.  The study also explores the feasibility of inexpensive renovation as an alternative to demolition.
Frank also serves as chair of the Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council (VAPAC), of which Cuyahoga Land Bank Chief Operating Officer Bill Whitney and Michael Schramm, Director of IT and Research at the Cuyahoga Land Bank, are members.   Founded in 2005, VAPAC is unique in the United States for its collaborative approach to responding to foreclosure and property abandonment, including membership from the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County agencies, inner-ring suburbs, the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, charitable organizations and community development corporations.

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