CPA & Business Advisory Blog

A Crash Course on the Cuyahoga County Land Bank & What it Could Mean for Northeast Ohio

In 2008, Ohio set a new record with 85,782 new foreclosure filings, according to the annual study issued by Policy Matters Ohio, with Cuyahoga County leading the way. In an attempt to prevent this from devaluing our region, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank Reutilization Corporation (CCLRC) was formed.

What exactly is the CCLRC? Here’s a crash course in the organization and its purpose:

“CCLRC, known informally as the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, was formed to help return vacant and abandoned properties in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, to productive use. From 2005 to 2009, the number of home foreclosures in Cuyahoga County increased dramatically. The result is tens of thousands of vacant or abandoned homes whose decay severely affects home values and the quality of life for everyone in the community. The CCLRC aims to help reclaim properties, protect the county tax base and restore real estate markets.”

For more information on the Land Bank, click here.

On Friday the 28th of August, the CCLRC held its board meeting open to the public. To kick-off the meeting, the organization’s President shared the short term plan which consists of ways that the available funds ($1.5 million: 750K for operations and 750K for capital acquisitions), will be used to set up the operations to guarantee that the land bank will be able to systematize its key processes in order to attain its long-term and strategic goals. In the short run (6 months), the CCLRC will be working closely with the county auditor’s department and the sheriff’s department to coordinate a smooth process to obtain properties.

The CCLRC’s long-term strategic plan is less specific, but it lies upon four key concepts.

  • See that properties acquired will have a definitive use – not to acquire properties for acquisition’s sake.
  • Reduce blight in communities.
  • Create substantive value by eliminating the cycle of churning that has been a main force in creating blight.
  • Support already existing plans, which entails working with municipalities and community development corporations (CDC’s) who already have definitive plans and know best the ways to help their communities. This is the corner stone of the entire framework

The main goal is to see that the dollars spent by the CCLRC are put to the greatest marginal utility through the use of goal oriented metrics. These metrics will define the desired impact, volume, and value of the resources being deployed.

The organization’s board stressed several key points:

  • Measurement metrics
  • Strategic land assembly
  • Foreclosure prevention
  • A “green” approach and focus

The CCLRC is a regional organization, which is poised to usher in regionalism to Northeast Ohio. To be effective, the organization needs a definitive vision to guide the use of its power. CCLRC’s principled approach will lead the march toward reutilizing land that has fallen to blight. If the CCLRC is able to work with non-profit CDC’s and private developers, the CCLRC will have a synergistic effect where the whole has potential to be greater than the sum of its parts.

For more information on our Real Estate and Construction Group, call 440-449-6800.

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