Vacant Property

Lessons From Cuyahoga County On Land Banking

Nov 12, 2015
Cuyahoga Land Bank / Facebook

Since its creation in 2009, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has been a successful model for the Ohio land banking process, bringing in a hundred vacant properties a month.

Gus Frangos, president and general counsel of the land bank, joined Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggemheimer to explain Cuyahoga’s success and how other counties can learn from it.

Mark Knobil / Flickr

North Braddock has more than 300 vacant homes, many of which are beyond repair. About 100 of those are not secured, meaning they have doors or windows that are broken or missing.

On Saturday, about 40 volunteers plan to fan out in the neighborhood to clean and secure several of the properties.

Should vacant buildings in Homewood be renovated or demolished? How about other Pittsburgh neighborhoods with blight? Tim Stevens, CEO and chairman of the Black Political Empowerment Project, has called for many of the buildings to be refurbished by workers enrolled in training programs rather than continuing with demolition.  They're now gathering community input on what to do with vacant buildings. C. Matthew Hawkins, adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, recently wrote about the idea of a moratorium in Homewood and the Hill District.

What do you think of the potential moratorium on demolition in poor communities requested of Pittsburgh city council?