City of Cleveland Awards Land Bank Grant to Spark Housing Revival in Legacy Neighborhoods

Blog Cuyahoga Land Bank Newsletter Land Bank Homes

City of Cleveland Awards Land Bank Grant to Spark Housing Revival in Legacy Neighborhoods

Several wards will soon experience a wave of renewal, thanks to a generous grant to Cuyahoga Land Bank from the city.

Cleveland City Council announced in early March that it strategically allotted the final portion of its American Rescue Plan Act funds to Cuyahoga Land Bank. The Land Bank will use these funds across wards 5, 10 and 14 – three neighborhoods historically burdened by disinvestment – to revitalize homes and create a more equitable city for all. 

The scars of past neglect are evident across these neighborhoods, Central, Collinwood, Clark-Fulton and Glenville, respectively. Dilapidated housing stock, vacant lots and a lack of access to essential amenities have plagued these communities for decades. This new initiative represents a turning point.

The primary focus of the $9.9 million grant, officially called the Legacy Communities Revitalization Program, is to continue transforming neighborhoods into thriving, equitable communities and create sustainable housing markets for owner-occupants in some of the most market-challenged areas of Cleveland. Ultimately, this program will complement the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s track record of responsible investment.

“We are incredibly grateful for Cleveland City Council’s vision and unwavering commitment on this transformative project to bolster historically challenged communities,” Land Bank COO Ricardo León said. “With Council’s  trust, we will continue our successful work of removing blight to revitalize neighborhoods, expand affordable and market rate housing, and build sustainable economic growth to improve residents’ quality of life.”

Part of the award’s crucial funding – $3.6 million – will be used for the construction of 24 new homes across the three wards. While the Land Bank’s average new construction cost is $300,000 per home, they’ll be offered for sale at a significantly reduced price, making homeownership a more attainable dream for residents.

Another piece of the grant ($3.45 million) will go toward rehabilitating 30 existing homes in the wards. These high quality renovations, averaging $200,000 each, will make the homes more affordable for residents. The Land Bank also plans to sell them at a reduced price reflecting the market, with additional grants available for qualifying buyers from vulnerable populations. 

Another $1.7 million from the City will help the Land Bank acquire the 54 properties needed for the project; and an additional $500,000 is allocated for a pilot program targeting neighboring properties. This beautification initiative will enhance the curb appeal of the surrounding area, complementing the new and renovated homes. “We’ve had success with this type of beautification project in the past,” says León.

“The impact of this initiative extends far beyond bricks and mortar,” adds Gus Frangos, President of Cuyahoga Land Bank. “Improved housing fosters a sense of stability and pride within residents. Safe and comfortable living environments contribute to stronger communities, inspire further private housing development and encourage families to stay and new residents to consider locating to these neighborhoods.”