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Northeast Ohio Is Getting Most of the State's Grants For Demolishing Blighted and Abandoned Homes

Cities like Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown are removing blighted homes, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency wants to maximize the impact on property values by focusing on neighborhoods with 20 percent or fewer abandoned properties.
Cities like Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown are removing blighted homes, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency wants to maximize the impact on property values by focusing on neighborhoods with 20 percent or fewer abandoned properties.
Cities like Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown are removing blighted homes, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency wants to maximize the impact on property values by focusing on neighborhoods with 20 percent or fewer abandoned properties.
Credit KAREN SCHAEFER / WKSU
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Cities like Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown are removing blighted homes, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency wants to maximize the impact on property values by focusing on neighborhoods with 20 percent or fewer abandoned properties.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency has awarded more than $100 million to land banks in the state to help demolish abandoned and blighted homes.  The funds are going to 18 counties as part of its Neighborhood Initiative Program.

Program Manager Holly Swisher says that helps residents avoid foreclosure, since they’re likely to stay in their homes longer.  And after demolition, there are a number of options for re-using the property.

“They can first do a side-lot, where the neighbor next door can actually gain access to that property.  There are non-profit uses for community gardens and parks.”

Patrick Bravo, executive director of the Summit County Land Bank, says they’re getting more than $6.4 million to take a neighborhood-centered approach.

“They would prefer to see us focus in areas that are tipping point first.  Which they consider to be those areas that are 20 percent or less blight.  So that there is more of a significant impact when you remove that one house that sits in the middle of an otherwise healthy street.  They’d prefer to see you work in those areas first, and then work down the line.”

Bravo says his agency has identified about 4,000 blighted properties in Summit County, and this latest grant will help to demolish about 400 of them.

Other Northeast Ohio counties receiving grants from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency include Trumbull, Stark and Mahoning – which each got between $6- and $7 million – and Cuyahoga County, which received more than $31 million.  

Thecomplete list of Ohio Housing Finance Agency grantsis below:

Ashtabula County, $2,704,305.00

Butler County, $1,775,623.77

Clark County, $634,785.50

Cuyahoga County, $31,263,999.55

Erie County, $1,043,178.97

Fairfield Land, $443,905.94

Central Ohio (Franklin County), $12,189,568.42

Hamilton County, $3,107,341.60

Jefferson County, $634,785.50

Lake County, $750,000

Lucas County, $13,809,078.23

Mahoning County, $6,894,969.06

Montgomery County, $8,182,015.55

Portage County, $450,000

Richland County, $1,393,672.70

Stark County, $6,017,166.37

Summit County, $6,436,638.18

Trumbull County, $6,566,270.99

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