John Collier, Research Associate
According to a recently released report by Greater Ohio Policy Center, in the past five years, the Columbus Land Redevelopment Office and Central Ohio Community improvement Corporation (COCIC) have generated $180 million in economic impact in Columbus and Franklin County communities. The land banks work together to help create stronger, safer neighborhoods by obtaining and managing blighted properties and creating redevelopment opportunities.
The report concluded that the land banks have impacted communities by using more than $38 million with funds from several sources including the State of Ohio, for demolition of more than 1,600 vacant and blighted properties; reuse of 1,300 properties for rehabilitation, gardens or new construction and financed over 100 residential rehabs, emergency stabilizations or new builds. As a testament to their achievements – GOPC found that the number of vacant and abandoned properties within the City of Columbus decreased by 40 percent in the past five years.
A summary of the land banks achievements include:
- $90 million in protected home values from demolition of nearby blighted structures
- $7.8 million in direct land sales
- $442,000 in property taxes collected from former land bank properties in 2017 alone
- $80 million in new private and non-profit investment on vacant lots or blighted, abandoned structures
- $3.3 million in grants and loans awarded to local non-profit partners
GOPC continues to be a leading expert on tools and best practices for containing and eradicating blight in our communities. In 2010, GOPC and a coalition of nonprofits and local officials successfully lobbied for the “Land Bank Bill” which authorized permissive creation of county land banks in 41 counties. GOPC was also influential in developing the guidelines for the Ohio Attorney General’s Moving Ohio Forward program and OHFA’s Neighborhood Initiative Program. GOPC believes land banks in Ohio continue to play an important role in stabilizing and revitalizing our neighborhoods.
The full report can be found at https://www.greaterohio.org/publications/land-bank-impact-report
“Columbus-Franklin County land banks report $180M in economic impact” – Columbus Business First