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Facing the Foreclosure Epidemic

Friday, October 26, 2007 at 4:00 AM

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Cleveland City and Cuyahoga County officials want to form a joint agency to buy thousands of properties left in the wake of the nation's foreclosure epidemic. City Council members and county Treasurer Jim Rokakis announced plans to study a regional approach to the problem. ideastream Political Reporter Kymberli Hagelberg has more.

A measure to fund a $25,000 Public Land Authority study is expected to pass when council meets on Monday.

Officials say it’s the first step in ending the “Cycle of Abandonment” in Cleveland, which has been ranked number one in the country for its glut of mortgage foreclosures.

Cleveland Regional Development Chief Chris Warren says the existing land bank is not up to the task.

Warren:  “What the county treasurer has brought to us is an approach to taking control and stewardship of abandonment.”

The countywide land bank would be modeled after one in Genesee County, Michigan, the county in which Flint is located. That agency gives ownership of foreclosed property to the county treasurer after two-years.

Rokakis says the study, which he expects will take 75 days, will determine what changes are needed in the state law and whether local municipalities can opt out.

Kymberli Hagelberg, 90.3.

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Government/Politics, Community/Human Interest, Housing/Real Estate, Regional Economy/Business - News

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