An update of the happenings at Cuyahoga Land Bank
Board Re-Elections | Grants | Plunge | Employee Profile
At its March meeting, the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga Land Bank unanimously re-elected Cleveland City Councilman Anthony Brancatelli and Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers to a third term as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the organization. Both men will serve a two-year term.
"The Cuyahoga Land Bank is fortunate to have the continued support of these progressive leaders.  Both Chairman Brancatelli and Vice Chairman Sellers have brought tremendous vision and enthusiasm to the Cuyahoga Land Bank, and we are pleased that they will both be serving another term,” said Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.

New Pilot Program
Community Collaborations Grants Announced

In March 2017, the Cuyahoga Land Bank awarded its first-ever round of community grants. The Community Collaborations Grant program builds upon and creates new partnerships with local non-profits and other faith-based organizations that advance both the missions of the Cuyahoga Land Bank and the collaborations organizations. A call for grant submissions for property-based projects that restore abandoned properties to productive use while helping to rebuild lives went out to local non-profits and churches in January. 
After an extensive screening process, the Cuyahoga Land Bank awarded grants of real property and financial matching grants for property renovation to 11 applicant organizations. “This is a pilot program in which we are making the jump from being reactive to proactive in supporting the housing needs of special population groups,” says Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.
“The Community Collaborations Grant program was created in direct response to a recent Cuyahoga County Housing Survey that underscored the need for positive housing options for at-risk groups and special populations, including refugees, veterans and those in recovery,” says Frangos. “While we are committed to our core mission of reducing blight and demolishing and renovating vacant and abandoned houses, these grants allow us to team up with social service agencies to help with challenging housing issues in our community.”
For more information about Cuyahoga Land Bank community collaborations and partnerships, click HERE.

Burning River Spring Break Plunge

Burning River Spring Break Plunge is a week-long urban ministry experience that allows participants to step into the lives of those living in poverty, to learn their stories and see the faces behind social issues.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank was one of a series of stops during this year's Plunge, arranged by host Elizabeth Baptist Church, where 35 Christian college-students participated.  The students were asked by the Plunge host church to draw connections between the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and issues facing urban neighborhoods, such as boarded up homes, illiteracy, poverty, and overcoming addiction.  In other words, how is the church relevant to these important issues?
Students heard first-hand about the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s collaboration with organizations to advance their missions and find unique property uses that benefit these community-based organizations and the citizens they serve. Participants learned how civic engagement, urban ministry, and multi-sector collaboration can positively affect community development and restoration. “We were able to share with students the role the Cuyahoga Land Bank is playing in supporting community goals, working collaboratively with social service organizations and non-profits in the region that offer affordable housing, community stabilization, and skilled training opportunities,” says Vatreisha Nyemba, Compliance and Monitoring Manager for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.
Cynthia Rios, Executive Director of the Women’s Wellness Foundation, a volunteer mission and ministry that serves women in crisis during transition, also spoke to the group about a recent collaboration with the Cuyahoga Land Bank that resulted in transitional housing for women recently released from prison.
“The students walked away with some new ideas about how different sectors can collaborate to impact the community,” says Nyemba.  “We also wanted them to understand that no matter where their career takes them – whether they are an architect, engineer, or accountant – there is a potential role to play in community restoration.”

Resource Fair Reaches Out to Veterans

The Cuyahoga Land Bank recently took part in a Military Resource Fair sponsored by Ohio House 6th District Rep. Marlene Anielski.  The event, held at the Independence Civic Center April 3, drew large crowds of veterans seeking information on community resources for veterans and their families.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank provided information on its HomeFront Veterans Home Ownership Program, which is designed to help veterans achieve the dream of home ownership.

Veterans interested in purchasing a home from the land bank’s inventory may be eligible for a discount rate of up to 15% off the purchase price and reduced closing costs.   For more information on the HomeFront Veterans Home Ownership Program, click


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Sharing Knowledge Internationally

Leaders of the Cuyahoga Land Bank recently met with a group of 14 students from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. The students were in the U.S. researching development paths of shrinking cities in different planning cultural environments.  The students, all studying the field of spatial planning at the University, were hosted by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative at Kent State University.
Cuyahoga Land Bank Chief Operating Officer Bill Whitney shared insights on Cleveland’s positive current development path and the role the Cuyahoga Land Bank is playing in the housing market in the region.  “The students were very well informed,” says Whitney.  “They asked a lot of interesting questions about the demographic decline and economic struggle of the city, but also about the impressive number of initiatives and projects aimed at improving the livability of the city.”
The students spent a week in the U.S. and then continued their research in Nagasaki, Japan, and Bochum, Germany, comparing how planning and development evolve in different cultural environments.


Home for Sale in Euclid

This 3-bedroom Cape Cod-style home at 370 E. 255 Street in Euclid is currently under renovation and is available for sale. For details on this property, please call 216-698-8853 and for a list of other homes currently under renovation, visit our website.    

Meet the Team

Anurag Saxena
IT and Research Manager

Date of Hire
June 2011
Cleveland State University
Describe yourself in three words
Developer, Nerd, CLE Import
What motivates you in your work?
Solving problems every day.
What is the best advice you ever received?
“Always be learning.”
What’s playing in your car right now?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack
What do you do for fun/hobbies?
I read, play games on my Xbox, and explore the outdoors.
What drew you to work at the Cuyahoga Land Bank?
Being at the right place at the right time.

Home for Sale in Cleveland

This 3-bedroom Colonial at 4137 East 136 Street in Cleveland's Corlett neighborhood requires renovation and is now available through our Deed-In-Escrow Program.

The mission of the Cuyahoga Land Bank is to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, support community goals and improve the quality of life for county residents.

Copyright © 2017 Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, All rights reserved.
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