Land Bank Program
The Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC) is the New Franklin County Land Reutilization Corporation
You may have heard the exciting news about the creation of a new Franklin County Land Reutilization Corporation (or Land Bank) that I am spearheading. Here is the link to a Dispatch article that describes the new land bank.
The Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC) will serve as the County's land bank agency, which will give the County the ability to quickly take control of blighted properties that are vacant and tax-delinquent. The COCIC's Board of Directors held its inaugural meeting in May and I serve as its chair. Funding for the land bank will, in effect, come from penalty and interest paid by delinquent taxpayers. Through this new initiative, the County will work with local and state partners, as well as private and non-profit agencies, to rehab or demolish these buildings with the goal of returning the properties to productive use.
For blighted properties that need to be demolished, there's some good news that could alter the Central Ohio landscape. Through the COCIC, Franklin County has been awarded an $8.2 million grant from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The Moving Ohio Forward grant will provide matching funds to be used for the demolition of vacant and abandoned residential buildings. These grant funds combined with demolition funds from the COCIC and City of Columbus will create the opportunity for approximately $16 million in countywide demolitions, which could lead to the removal of up to 1,200 blighted residential properties.
I have asked local officials to help the COCIC review and identify vacant and abandoned properties that could qualify for demolition. I anticipate the majority of demolitions will occur starting in 2013 after property has been acquired through the foreclosure process.
In the meantime, if you know of a property you believe should be reviewed by the County's land bank, please complete and email the form found at this link. To qualify for a land bank foreclosure, the property must be both 1) tax delinquent and 2) vacant and abandoned. All requests submitted will be forwarded to the COCIC for review. The land bank will work to leverage its impact and maximize the number of foreclosures initiated after it identifies and prioritizes qualifying properties.
Franklin County Treasurer
Chairman, Franklin County Land Bank