Cuyahoga Land Bank begins to see needle move in weakest housing markets: By the numbers

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Cuyahoga Land Bank begins to see needle move in weakest housing markets: By the numbers

July 27, 2019 [Emily Bamforth,]

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga Land Bank demolished nearly 7,000 homes over the past decade, fighting urban blight and sparking economic development across the region. The land bank released an economic impact study on Wednesday to celebrate its 10 years. Though the land bank made an economic impact of $1.43 billion in Cuyahoga County over the years, effects are just starting to show up in some areas of Cleveland. 

“For the first time after 10 years doing this activity, we’re actually seeing the needle move in the weakest submarkets in terms of property value and taxes,” Nigel Griswold, CEO and co-founder of Dynamo Metrics in Michigan, said. “It normally shows up insignificant when you do a demolition or a rehab in the weakest neighborhoods because … there is too much blight, there is too much vacancy.” “Every one you take down there’s 10 more to replace.” 

Dynamometrics completed multiple analyses of land bank data over the past seven years. The “weakest submarkets” refer to areas defined by census tracts, not city boundaries. So there’s no list of the weakest neighborhoods and the land bank’s effects, Griswold told This map, included in the Cuyahoga County Land Bank’s 10-year analysis, illustrates housing submarkets in the county. The report was prepared by Dynamo Metrics. (Provided by Cuyahoga County Land Bank)Cuyahoga County Land Bank The land bank was established in 2009 to address the effects of the foreclosure crisis. The organization acquires vacant land and properties and markets them to those interested in renovation or new builds. Often the land bank will sell its properties to local nonprofits for as little as $1.  

“Housing is essential:” Local nonprofits provide new beginnings with vacant, foreclosed homes 

A Cuyahoga Land Bank program allows nonprofit organizations to purchase land bank properties for $1, which can be crucial for organizations that rely on donations and volunteers. The nonprofits then rehabilitate the properties, sometimes with assistance from the land bank. 

Some real estate projects the land bank was involved in include the Amazon fulfillment center in North Randall and the Children’s Museum building in downtown Cleveland. 

The study comes at a pivotal time for the land bank. Earlier this year, Cuyahoga County Council approved legislation which would refocus the organization from demolition to renovation, and place an emphasis on creating affordable housing. The six-year plan will cost about $30 million. 

Read more: Cuyahoga County Council approves $30 million housing program 

Cuyahoga County Council on Tuesday approved a $30 million housing program that aims to stabilize home values, eliminate blight and encourage renovation and construction of affordable housing. 

Here is the land bank’s impact over the past ten years, by the numbers: 

  • 1.43 billion: estimated economic impact in Cuyahoga County. More than half is from property values. 
  • $302 million: amount of private investment sparked by the land bank 
  • $12,946,549: amount from direct sales of land bank property 
  • 2,2122: estimated residential rehabilitations 
  • 2,1114: estimated jobs created by the land bank 
  • $8: the estimated amount returned on each dollar spent by the land bank 
  • $415.3: estimated increased home value from demolitions 
  • $320.6: estimated increased home value from rehabilitations