December 4, 2011 [WKYC]
AKRON — There’s one on just about every street in Summit County. In some cases there are four, five, or even more.
A growing epidemic of abandoned homes is prompting Summit County to create a land bank so the homes can be demolished or repaired.
Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise said the number of abandoned homes has now topped 2,600. A map of the addresses shows that every community has been affected and many are seeing more abandoned homes than local leaders ever anticipated.
Some of those homes are also in foreclosure, Scalise said.
A land bank would allow the county to get ownership of many the properties so they can be repaired or, in some cases, demolished.
A similar land bank in Cuyahoga County has already received the sites of more than 50 homes and apartments demolished in East Cleveland.
Residents believe starting over is a better option in many cases rather than pouring money into repairs.
Summit County Council is expected to vote Monday on the idea, which would benefit from startup grants from the Akron Community Foundation and the GAR Foundation.