Welcome to the Levin College of Urban Affairs

Levin Partner Event

Cuyahoga Land Bank IMPACT! Study Press Conference and Public Forum

Cuyahoga Land Bank

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
9:30am Refreshments | 10:00am Program

Roberta Steinbacher Atrium
Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University
1717 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
ArticlePress Release 

About This Event

How the Cuyahoga Land Bank Started
In 2009, an incredible community development experiment was about to unfold. In the aftermath of the devastating post-2008 foreclosure crisis, new and unique county land banks were legislatively created to respond to this crisis. These land banks--often called land banks on steroids--came with enormous authorities to acquire, transact, and dispose of vacant and abandoned properties for the purpose of eliminating blight, restoring property values, rehabilitating homes, and stabilizing the county tax base. Because of the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis in Cuyahoga County, these super-charged land banks were created by the passage of S.B. 353 in 2009. The bill was sponsored by then-Senator Tom Patton (now Representative Tom Patton) and then-Governor Ted Strickland who ceremoniously signed the bill into law in April, 2009 at a forum at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs!

Their Mission
A talented and dedicated group of eight pioneer staff, headed by its President Gus Frangos, opened the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s doors on June 1, 2009. The mission of the Cuyahoga Land Bank is to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, support community goals, and improve the quality of life for county residents.

Their Work
In furtherance of their mission, today’s staff--now 34 professionals--has leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars in federal, state, county, and private resources. In ten years, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has facilitated the renovation of 1,900 homes; demolished over 8,000 blighted and vacant houses; assembled and conveyed over 450 side-lots to homeowners for yard expansions; and partnered with over 60 nonprofit, faith-based, and community development corporations to produce affordable housing. Combined with land assemblages for small enterprise and large-scale development, this has resulted in a total community and economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars based on an independent study which will be announced on June 26, 2019 at the Levin College at 9:30am.

Their Partnerships
A hallmark of the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s work is its visionary board leadership chaired by Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli, and its network of diverse partners. In partnership with a rich network of community development corporations, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has provided housing for veterans, those in recovery or transitioning from incarceration, single parenthood, legally resettled refugees, and other special populations. In addition to the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s brick and mortar activities, serving people is at the heart of the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s work.

What does it all mean? It means IMPACT! The incredible experiment that started with the signing of S.B. 353 at Cleveland State University’s Levin College ten years ago has had an incredible IMPACT! So, the Cuyahoga Land Bank returns to Levin to see the results of that experiment. Homes restored, economic development catalyzed, abandoned real estate made productive, jobs created, neighborhoods improved, and people uplifted are the results. On June 26, 2019 at CSU’s Levin College, come to a community event at 9:30am to hear the details and announcement of the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s economic impact in dollars. You will be surprised! After the brief announcement, a forum will take place with distinguished and diverse panelists that have worked with the Cuyahoga Land Bank in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, neighborhood advocacy, and special projects. The forum will be hosted and moderated by the Levin College’s Dean, Dr. Roland V. Anglin.

A Look at the Future!
As the Cuyahoga Land Bank looks to the future, it is privileged to be the agency charged with implementing Cuyahoga County’s Housing Plan. This Plan envisions investment in emerging and middle neighborhoods, jump-starting markets in more distressed neighborhoods, capacity building for and helping to catalyze the work of our partners through resources, research, and data systems. The Cuyahoga Land Bank will also participate in economic development projects in traditional as well as new and creative ways. Through these efforts, the Cuyahoga Land Bank will continue to IMPACT! our community in the years ahead!