In 2010, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank, came to a groundbreaking agreement: HUD would transfer low-value, vacant and abandoned properties to the Cuyahoga Land Bank for $100.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank is proud to announce that for the fourth time HUD has agreed to once again renew the annual agreement, which is the only one of its kind in the country.
“We are excited that HUD has chosen to continue their relationships with us,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos. “It means that we have been able to demonstrate a positive impact and that HUD continues to believe in the value of working with us to eliminate blight in our community.”
The properties that the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquires from HUD are lower-value properties appraised at $20,000 or below. Such properties come under the ownership of HUD as a result of mortgage foreclosures guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The partnership between HUD and the Cuyahoga Land Bank continues to be essential to the stabilization of the real estate market and the rejuvenation of Cuyahoga County’s neighborhoods through the repurposing of distressed properties, which often perpetuate the cycle of tax foreclosure and abandonment, from the speculator market.
Under the renewed agreement, HUD will continue to transfer HUD-owned properties in Cuyahoga County valued at under $20,000 to the Cuyahoga Land Bank for $100 after paying all current taxes. Once acquired, the Cuyahoga Land Bank evaluates all properties, demolishes those that are beyond repair and preserves those homes that can be renovated.
Properties deemed eligible for renovation are available to private rehabbers that agree to meet the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Housing Standards. To enforce these standards, the Cuyahoga Land Bank retains title to privately rehabbed homes until a final, satisfactory inspection of the renovation.
“At the Cuyahoga Land Bank, we understand that the impacts of the foreclosure crisis are too big to combat alone. We must leverage partnerships and work together to stabilize and reimagine our communities,” said Frangos. “The HUD agreement allows us to efficiently property and we are grateful to have the opportunity to continue the partnership.”
To date, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has acquired approximately 4,350 properties overall and has demolished nearly 2,800 properties. More than 1,700 of the vacant lots created by demolition have been transferred to city land banks for neighborhood side yard expansions, community gardens, and economic development opportunities. Additionally, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has also successfully facilitated the renovation of nearly 925 properties by private owners, using private dollars.