Although foreclosures and property abandonments were present before the housing market crash of 2007, that period changed the entire housing landscape in Cuyahoga County. One of the major consequences of the housing crash was people abandoning or foreclosing on their family home because of drops in property value or negative equity. Those foreclosures created an enormous influx of houses onto the market that were either not being properly taken care of or completely neglected. This is where the work of the Cuyahoga Land Bank comes in.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank’s mission is to eliminate the pervasive vacant and abandoned properties across our area. Since opening its doors in 2009, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has facilitated the renovation of more than 1,600 homes and demolished more than 6,000 blighted abandoned properties across Cuyahoga County.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank acquires vacant and blighted properties and returns them back into livable dwellings when feasible. When a property is deemed unsafe or beyond repair, it demolishes the property and repurposes the land. A few ways the Cuyahoga Land Bank repurposes vacant land is to create green space such as a community garden or playground, or as a side yard for an eligible neighboring owner.
Vacant properties negatively affect neighborhoods in many ways. They are not only eyesores and attract criminal behavior, but they also bring down the property values of nearby homes. These abandoned and blighted properties need to be addressed for the benefit of the entire community – from neighborhood residents to local governments to nearby businesses – and the sooner, the better.
We know this cannot happen overnight, but the Cuyahoga Land Bank is working hard to ensure Cuyahoga County is a more pleasant and aesthetically pleasing place to live, work and visit.