An update of the happenings at Cuyahoga Land Bank
Board Elections | EPA Grant 

Making a Difference Through Community Collaboration

At the Cuyahoga Land Bank, we understand that collaboration is key in making real change in our community.  In response to increasing requests for assistance from organizations and church groups that are doing good works in our neighborhoods, the Cuyahoga Land Bank hosted a Community Collaboration Workshop on June 15 at the City Mission.  More than 140 leaders of faith-based and non-profit organizations in Cuyahoga County gathered for an informative presentation on ways to work with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to stabilize our community, repurpose vacant land and expand affordable housing options for our county’s citizens. 
“We were encouraged by the level of participation in the workshop,” said Dennis Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management at the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “There were some familiar faces in the room, but there were also a lot of people from new and different organizations who are eager to work with us.”
In recent years, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has been involved in dozens of collaborations with social service organizations and non-profits in the region that offer affordable housing, community stabilization, and skilled training opportunities. The Cuyahoga Land Bank's mission is to reduce blight, increase property values, and improve the quality of life for county residents through property acquisition, renovation and demolition. One of the ways this is accomplished is by working collaboratively with organizations throughout Cuyahoga County actively to advance their missions and find unique property uses that benefit these community-based organizations and the citizens they serve. 
By making low-cost/no-cost properties available to local organizations and churches, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has been able to help others make a real impact in their communities in a variety of ways. These properties have been renovated by volunteers and utilized as affordable housing for single mothers, homeless veterans, recovery housing, and many others.
Hosted by local media personality Obie Shelton, the Community Collaboration Workshop included a step-by-step guide to working with the Cuyahoga Land Bank, a panel discussion highlighting successful partnerships, and a dynamic question and answer session.  Pre- and post-event networking also allowed participants to share resources and make new connections.
“Workshop participants heard first-hand how we are working with groups like theirs,” says Vatreisha Nyemba, Manager of Compliance and Program Development for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “Participants were extremely engaged, and we hope to have inspired them to go back and identify ways that their church group or social service organization can work with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to help them advance their mission in the community.”
“This is just the beginning of our collaborative efforts,” says Nyemba.  “There is so much more that can be done when we work together!” 
Here’s just a sample of some of the feedback we received about the Community Collaboration Workshop:

“Great first step getting the word out that the Land Bank is encouraging collaborations.”
 
“Absolutely extraordinary blessing to people, communities, organizations and collaboratives to dream big and/or bigger and know that professional, committed and proven experience is available to succeed and accomplish your dreams for helping others!”
 
“Great information and ability to learn from those who have been successful with the process.”
 
Non-profit organizations interested in partnering with the Cuyahoga Land Bank can complete a Non-Profit Program Proposal HERE. Check out our video highlights from our Community Collaboration Workshop HERE.
 

Cuyahoga Land Bank Awarded Brownfield Assessment Grant

The Cuyahoga Land Bank was recently awarded a $400,000 federal grant to assess contaminated sites for environmental risks and potential redevelopment.  The grant was among $55.2 million the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded communities around the country to assess, clean up and redevelop brownfield sites.Land Bank Staff
“Cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated sites is a win-win, helping to promote environmental clean-up and local economic development for our communities,” says Cheryl Stephens, Director of Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “There are hundreds of environmentally unclean sites throughout the County and the EPA grant will allow us to begin to address some of those sites.”
"These grants will empower communities to transform idle, languishing lands into vibrant hubs for business, jobs, and recreation," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "It's all about providing that initial funding, and sparking that first conversation to set stalled sites on a path toward smart, safe redevelopment that directly benefits communities."Land Bank Staff
This is the third Brownfield Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant awarded by the EPA to the Cuyahoga Land Bank since 2010.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank will use the grant dollars for initial assessments of commercial and industrial sites such as closed gas stations to detect underground contamination that can eventually lead to cleanup and redevelopment of the affected sites.
Other local grant recipients include the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District ($200,000 towards cleanup efforts) and the Lorain Port Authority ($200,000 for assessment).
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Land Bank Properties

Baking up Life Skills 

The Discovery Center, a neighborhood child enrichment center that moved into its new home on East 137th Street last year thanks to a partnership between Concerned Citizen’s Community Council, the Cuyahoga Land Bank and Cleveland City Council, began offering its children's programming again this spring. With enhanced activities – all offered free of charge – focused on life skills, entrepreneurship, art, education, and family supportive services, the Center is again making a difference in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant community.  One of the more popular interactive activities offered at the Center is a biscuit baking class, in which children and single mothers learn cooking and math skills in a fun environment. Concerned Citizen’s Director Anita Gardner has been instrumental in ensuring that this worthy neighborhood resource remains open to help guide neighborhood children in making wise and healthy life choices.

Home for Sale in Cleveland

This Ranch home at 12512 Milligan Ave in Cleveland requires renovation and is now available through our Deed-In-Escrow Program.

Board Re-Elections 

At its June 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 the roles of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the organization. As chairman, Councilman Brancatelli has been instrumental in leading efforts to reduce neighborhood blight and land reutilization.  
Vice Chairman Sellers continues to advocate for forward-thinking progress for economic development and the revitalization of our neighborhoods.
"Our Board of Directors serves as the guiding arm of our organization," said Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank. "These are proven leaders inside and outside our organization, and we are fortunate to have their continued guidance."

Home Under Renovation in Euclid 

This Cape Cod home at 370 East 255th in Euclid is under renovation by the Cuyahoga Land Bank and is listed 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.    

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 © 2016 Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, All rights reserved.
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