HUD, Cuyahoga Land Bank Renew Ground Breaking Agreement

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HUD, Cuyahoga Land Bank Renew Ground Breaking Agreement

In 2010, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank came to a groundbreaking agreement: HUD would transfer low-value, vacant and abandoned properties to the Cuyahoga Land Bank for $100.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank is proud to announce that their agreement with HUD has been renewed once again through September 30, 2014, allowing this partnership to continue.

The properties that the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquires from HUD are lower-value properties appraised at $20,000 or below.  Such properties come under the ownership of HUD as a result of mortgage foreclosures guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

The partnership between HUD and the Cuyahoga Land Bank continues to be essential to the stabilization of the real estate market and the rejuvenation of Cuyahoga County’s neighborhoods through the repurposing of distressed properties, which often perpetuate the cycle of tax foreclosure and abandonment, from the speculator market.

Under the renewed agreement, HUD will continue to transfer HUD-owned properties in Cuyahoga County valued at under $20,000 to the Cuyahoga Land Bank for $100 after paying all current taxes.  Once acquired, the Cuyahoga Land Bank evaluates all properties, demolishes those that are beyond repair and preserves those homes that can be renovated.

Properties deemed eligible for renovation are available to private rehabbers that agree to meet the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Housing Standards. To enforce these standards, the Cuyahoga Land Bank retains title to privately rehabbed homes until a final, satisfactory inspection of the renovation.

“This collaboration with the Cuyahoga Land Bank will help stem home price declines as we work to make these houses homes again,” said HUD’s Cheryl Walker, REO Division Director for HUD’s Philadelphia office.  “This partnership is about stabilizing neighborhoods hard-hit by foreclosure and preventing these homes from becoming blight on the community.”

“The relationship we have with HUD is helping us stabilize and reimagine our communities by allowing us to efficiently repurpose blighted properties,” said Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue the partnership.”

To date, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has acquired approximately 3,500 properties overall and is about to demolish its 2200th property.  Over 1,400 of the vacant lots created by demolition have been transferred to city land banks for neighborhood side yard expansions, community gardens, and economic development opportunities.  Additionally, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has also successfully facilitated the renovation of nearly 725 properties by private owners, using private dollars.

Download a copy of the press release HUD Agreement Renewal Release.

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