The Land Bank Eight Years On
Local and state leaders created the Cuyahoga Land Bank in 2009, in part, to deal with the previous year’s economic collapse. That national economic crisis was caused in large part by practices in the housing market that led to mass residential foreclosures. Many in our communities still remember when Cleveland’s Slavic Village was dubbed the “Ground Zero of the Foreclosure Crisis.” The creation of the Cuyahoga Land Bank required its own legislation at the state level, and the entity that emerged had far more latitude to deal with blighted properties than any other existing organization. Eight years on, Cuyahoga County’s efforts are seen as a national model for cities facing similar issues.
One of the Land Bank’s architects, President and General Counsel Gus Frangos, discusses the lessons from the last eight years of strategic demolition, rehabilitation, and community rebuilding.