Land Banks have been around since the 1970's. Toledo's Land Bank, which contains roughly 900 properties, was created in 1989 - but, unfortunately, it lacks the funding needed to return blighted properties back into productive use.

However, a new approach has been developed to address the problems associated with vacant and abandoned homes.

The Lucas County LRC is modeled after the award-winning program begun in Genesee County (Flint), Michigan. After the formation of the Genesee County LRC in 2002, Flint began to see tangible benefits right away. The aggregate market value of its properties increased by an extraordinary $112 million due to the land bank's activities between 2002 and 2005, with over 26,000 individual properties seeing an increase in value.

This re-found wealth bolstered home equity, neighborhood stability and Flint's local economy, as well as Genesee County's property tax base. Flint demonstrated that land banking can assist the private and public sectors in the creation of new wealth in a once-devastated community.

Initially, the Ohio Legislature provided Cuyahoga County the authority to create an LRC, and the Cuyahoga County LRC was launched in July 2009. Following passage in early 2010 of House Bill 313, land banking authority was extended to all Ohio counties with populations greater than 60,000 roughly half of all Ohio counties.

Having learned a tremendous amount from the experiences and efforts of the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and its initial operations, in August 2010, Lucas County became the second county in Ohio to create an LRC.

Enabling Legislation

In April 2009, Ohio enacted Senate Bill 353, authorizing the broad range of powers for a county land reutilization corporation.

Senate Bill 353 text

Senate Bill 353 legislative analysis

However, that legislation initially enabled Ohio's largest county, Cuyahoga County, to take advantage of these powers. It wasn't until July 2010 that House Bill 313 granted any Ohio county with a population over 60,000 the ability to create a land bank.

House Bill 313 text

House Bill 313 legislative analysis