Cuyahoga Land Bank hits 3 milestones in its mission to reduce blight and increase property values

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga Land Bank hit three milestones as part of its mission to acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values and improve the quality of life for county residents.

The Land Bank acquired its 4,000th property, demolished its 2,500th property and renovated its 860th property, all since opening its doors in 2009.

The Land Bank acquires distressed properties from banks, government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae, federal and state agencies like HUD, tax foreclosed properties and donated properties. The houses are either renovated or demolished.

"Blighted properties are a strain on the neighborhood, often endangering people's safety. By removing these properties, we improve conditions and pave the way for something new, whether that's a bigger yard for a neighbor, a community garden or a new home," said  Cheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisition, Disposition and Development for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, in a press release.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank also offers a variety of renovation programs. As of this month, 860 homes have been renovated by private owners, using private dollars. Owners purchase the homes on strict conditions that the houses be renovated to the Land Bank's specifications, housing codes and applicable point of sale requirements. Nearly 40 percent of these sales are to owner occupants.

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