About the Portage County Land Bank
The Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation, or “land bank,” is a quasi-governmental nonprofit entity created by the Portage County Board of Commissioners in 2012 as a strategic response to the foreclosure crisis of 2008. The land bank seeks to return blighted and vacant properties to productive use.
The land bank achieves this goal by strategically acquiring blighted properties and utilizing rehabilitation, resale, demolition, and other economic development tools to increase the value of those properties and those that surround them. Over time, the net effect of these efforts will be to improve quality of life for all residents of the county.
The majority of properties the Portage County Land Bank acquires are beyond repair and are scheduled for demolition. Demolition strategically done in communities will remove the blighting influence and help the remaining homes’ values increase and stabilize.
The land bank is funded by a variety of sources. Its primary funding comes from a set aside of penalty and interest revenue from delinquent real estate taxes (also known as “DTAC” funds). Utilizing these funds allows the land bank to operate without cost to the county’s general revenue fund. Other funding sources include grants, sale of acquired property, and donations.
Legislation to create politically independent land banks formed out of a need to respond to the housing crisis of 2008. Legislators enabled Ohio Senate bill 353, during the 127th General Assembly which allowed Cuyahoga County Commissioners to create the first modern land bank. Legislation later included counties with lower populations, opening the opportunity to Portage County.
In 2012, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Moving Ohio Forward Program provided a way for communities to get much-needed funding. This program used funds Ohio received from a settlement with the nation’s mortgage servicers. The program’s purpose was to allow communities to mobilize, seek grant funding, and respond to the long-term effects of the foreclosure crisis of 2008.
In 2012 the Portage County Land Bank was created. The new land bank focused on administering the MOF grant funds, which mostly consisted of demolition projects. In 2014 the Moving Ohio Forward program concluded.
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