The Cuyahoga Land Bank is excited to be handing over the keys of the first home sold through the BRAIN (Buying and Retaining Academic Investment Now) program to Cleveland State University (CSU) student Peter Camba.
“Brain gain” – the attraction and retention of young professionals with higher education degrees – has long been touted as an economic development driver and affordable housing is one of the factorsto retaining young talent. With several well-respected universities in the area and an inventory of vacant homes ready to be renovated and returned to productive use, the Cuyahoga Land Bank recognized an opportunity to play a role in retaining talent in Cuyahoga County by connecting students and recent graduates with great, affordable housing. With this goal in mind, BRAIN was created.
“The long term success of our community is reliant upon the success of the future generation,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank Director of Programs and Property Management Dennis Roberts. “We realized that we have the ability to increase those chances by connecting young graduates with low-cost affordable housing, giving them a jumpstart on building a productive future, and that’s why we decided to create BRAIN.”
Thanks to this collaboration CSU and the Land Bank, Organizational Leadership Major, Peter Camba realized that homeownership was within his reach. Originally from California, Camba likes living in Greater Cleveland and wants to stay beyond college. Through BRAIN, he was able to purchase a three bedroom, red brick colonial with a deck and a fireplace in Cleveland Heights at a significant discount.
“I think it’s amazing that there are programs out there like this to help students,” said Camba. “My new place is close to school, University Circle, Little Italy and plenty of retail. I love the location. As soon as I saw it, I thought, this place is perfect.”
BRAIN offers eligible students and recent graduates the chance to purchase a newly renovated homeat a discount of 15% off the purchase price and an additional 5% of the purchase price to be applied to closing costs. To participate in the program, students must either be currently enrolled in a college or post graduate degree program or submit a BRAIN application within two years of graduation.
With the help of CSU Board Trustees Dan T. Moore and June Taylor, the Cuyahoga Land Bank cemented a memorandum of understanding with Cleveland State University, whereby students get the opportunity to learn not only about the BRAIN program but also gain valuable information about how to prepare for the purchase of a home.
“The BRAIN program offers the student who is ready, willing and able an opportunity to purchase a quality home at an excellent price with guaranteed equity,” said Taylor. “This is a win for both the student as well as for the community at large, which will ideally benefit from retaining bright and talented professionals.”
Outreach efforts on campus, including Smart Thinking workshops, put on in partnership with CSU student organization, Cleveland State Transfer Connection, and Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Housing Services, began this spring.
“The collaboration between CSU and the Cuyahoga Land Bank around the BRAIN program provides our students with the opportunity to gain practical education about homeownership and build wealth through owning real estate,” said Moore. “BRAIN provides an incentive for students to invest in this community by owning a home and hopefully launching a career right here in Cuyahoga County.”