About the Land Bank
The Trumbull County Land Bank was formed to help return vacant and abandoned properties in Trumbull County, Ohio, to productive use.
From 2005 to 2011, the number of home foreclosures in Trumbull County increased dramatically. The result is thousands of vacant or abandoned homes whose decay severely affects home values and the quality of life for everyone in the community. The Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp., informally known as the Trumbull County Land Bank, is a strategic response to this crisis. It is intended to help reclaim properties, protect the county tax base and restore real estate markets. It will work cooperatively with cities, townships, villages, other units of government, lenders, and individual property owners, to acquire troubled real estate and return it to productive use.
A New Approach
The Ohio General Assembly passed new legislation, effective in April, 2009, allowing the formation of county land reutilization corporations (LRCs). This legislation provides for the establishment of nonprofit corporations to promote, develop, manage, and facilitate the reclamation, holding, rehabilitation, and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed, and other real property. Trumbull County's LRC (TCLRC) is the third to be established in the state.
Sources of TCLRC Property
The TCLRC can acquire foreclosed properties held by banks, by government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or by federal and state agencies. It will acquire real estate lost to tax foreclosure and may accept donated properties.
TCLRC Action on Property it Acquires
Properties with structures that have potential to be returned to the real estate market may be rehabilitated through TCLRC programs or may be sold to qualified private rehabbers. Structures being held for rehabilitation will be mothballed responsibly and appropriately maintained. Structures for which there is little hope of rehabilitation will be demolished and the resulting vacant land may be used in any number of ways. For example, unbuildable land may be sold to an adjoining neighbor at a special low price for use as a side lot. Parcels may be held for assembly and/or used for approved development projects. Land may be used to create public green space for urban agriculture, storm water management, or for other innovative and ecological purposes. In any event, the TCLRC aims to end the unbridled land speculation and flipping of foreclosed properties that has contributed to the current crisis.
City and County Cooperation
The TCLRC has many options for what to do with property it acquires, but each Trumbull County city, township and village is a major partner in the decision regarding what will be done with properties that lie within its own jurisdiction. The TCLRC will serve as a flexible and powerful hub for the acquisition and reclamation of foreclosed properties throughout the county.