The Cuyahoga Land Bank Goes International!

In May, 2014, a delegation of representatives appointed by the embassies of Mexico, Macedonia, Maldives, Turkey and Haiti visited the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  The purpose of their visit was to study economic development trends and housing development in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis.
The delegation was hosted in the United States by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.  Their travels took them to ClevelandWorld Affairs, Washington D.C., Seattle, Pensacola, New York and other stops as part of their investigation.
Of particular interest to the group was how the Cuyahoga Land Bank was working to improve housing development and the housing market generally in the Midwest where the foreclosure crisis hit the hardest. The Land Bank staff did not disappoint.  The delegation was treated to an array of successful housing projects and collaborations as well as the success of the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s deed-in-escrow program which has facilitated nearly 900 home renovations throughout the County.
Many of the delegation members were amazed to learn that properties could be acquired inexpensively from the Cuyahoga Land Bank, provided the buyer renovated and stabilized the home by complying with the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s renovation specifications, acquiring permits and placing the property back onto the tax rolls.
The group quickly discerned that these home renovations are what is necessary to stabilize urban areas.  In fact, many at the meeting indicated their interest in bringing international investors to Cuyahoga County possibly to undertake renovations, repair and investment in properties.
Although Land Bank President, Gus Frangos, cautioned that no properties could be transferred unless and until fully renovated, the Land Bank was nevertheless open to all qualified buyers, even international buyers.
Amanda McCoy who accompanied the group said after the meeting that the group was very engaged and found the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s presentation one of its most interesting meetings along the international trip.

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