Mahoning County Land Bank’s primary job is to clean the titles to vacant, abandoned, tax-delinquent properties, and then to make these properties available for new uses. The need is essential, because no one wants to invest in properties that are saddled with old debts, unresolved ownership issues or other cloudy title issues.
Two ongoing collaborations are the Moving Ohio Forward (MOF) demolition grant program funded by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) demolition grant funded by the Ohio Housing Financing Agency.
MOF was funded with money from a settlement with major mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure and mortgage practices and assists communities with residential demolition needs. The Land Bank is working with 11 local governments to complete hundreds of demolitions by fall 2014.
NIP is funded with money remaining from Ohio’s share of Hardest Hit Funds, provided by the U.S. Treasury to help prevent future housing foreclosures. The goal is stemming property values declines of future foreclosures in communities already hurt by vacant and blighted homes. The Land Bank is working with 5 local governments to acquire and then demolish hundreds of vacant, abandoned houses by late 2016.
In addition to housing demolition, Mahoning County Land Bank personnel have worked with neighborhood stakeholders – including residents, businesses, institutions and philanthropists – to dream, write and implement plans that improve quality of life. We also are experienced in convening volunteers to collect trash, plant trees and install wildflower meadows. We look forward to many more collaborations and partnerships that produce great results.