Ohio Land Bank Conference Sessions – 2015

Here are links to the presentations from the 2015 conference:

Building Momentum: Opportunities and Considerations as Land Banks Evolve

From the perspective of Ohio’s second oldest land bank, attendees will hear about opportunities and considerations regarding staffing, board involvement, property review and management systems, and the role of community engagement. Learn what works, what doesn’t, and how your land bank can take it to the next level as county land banks evolve in Ohio. A session designed to answer questions, stimulate ideas, and address concerns.  Presenters: David Mann, Shantae Brownlee, Anne Wistow


Collaborations for Dummies (OK, Maybe It is Rocket Science)

Part 1 | Part 2

The challenges of mortgage foreclosure, tax delinquency, property abandonment, and housing market destabilization are complex and touch dozens of government and civic organizations: city departments, county departments, state and Federal agencies, land banks, universities and other non-profit agencies. How do you bring them together into a system that is “firing on all cylinders”, not duplicating efforts, and not working in silos? This session is aimed at community development practitioners who are interested in creating a collaborative response to these problems. The session will trace the growth of the Vacant and Abandoned Property Action Council (VAPAC) since its formation ten years ago.  VAPAC’s expanding scope and major accomplishments will be shared and opportunities for replication of the program will be discussed. Presenters: Frank Ford, Gus Frangos, Sally Martin


County Land Bank 101

Ohio has the most integrated land bank statutes in the country which incorporate flexible transaction capabilities, funding and tax foreclosure reform.  This session goes beyond the typical Land Bank 101 session consisting of what county land bank is, how it is formed and its capabilities. Now that there are some twenty-five (25) county land banks throughout Ohio, this session instead deal with the very practical questions of how to get started, accounting functions, health care, property and office insurance, employee descriptions and employee manuals, interaction with board members and ethical considerations. If yours is a county land bank that just started in the last year, or if your county is about to authorize a county land bank, this session is essential from the business standpoint of getting started.  It will save you much time and expense. Best operational practices will be discussed from the perspective of the experience of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  Extensive sample forms will be supplied which can be adapted to your land bank.  Presenter: Gus Frangos


Data Use for Neighborhood Stabilization

Many agencies and systems are needed to deal with the issue of vacant and abandoned property across the spectrum of the problem; from foreclosure prevention to vacant land reuse. Integrated data systems provide crucial information that aids agencies in coordinating neighborhood stabilization programs and activities. In Cleveland, the Neighborhood Stabilization Team provides a central point where agencies involved in a wide range of neighborhood stabilization activities can use data to communicate and coordinate. Michael Schramm, Cuyahoga Land Bank, reviews the history and methods for integrating data; Justin Fleming, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, presents how organizations use integrated data to strategize neighborhood stabilization across organizations, and April Urban, Case Western Reserve, discusses implications for replicating this data system. Presenters: Michael Schramm, Justin Fleming, April Urban


Demolition A-to-Z

The process of demolishing structures (either residential or commercial) requires far more attention to detail than the average community ever thought necessary. All levels of governments will be involved in your work. From local governments you will need the issuance of water, sewer, and other utility permits or disconnects. From state and federal governments approval on environmental issues such as asbestos and other hazards that must be evaluated and remediated/abated. In this session we will review everything we have learned from the initial assessment to the guidelines for post demolition site conditions.  Presenter: Cheryl Stevens


Financing Commercial Properties: “So you have the property, now what?” 

Critical to the mission of land banks is returning properties to productive use. Particularly important for commercial properties, this session will provide information about financial resources and strategies for redevelopment of commercial properties, along with case studies that illustrate how various programs are effectively used. The goal of the session is to help land banks from around Ohio to understand the various tools for commercial development, by way of both description of resources and selected case studies.  Presenters:  Dione Alexander, Mark Barbash, Eric Diamond


Fertile Ground: Academic Experiments in Vacancy Reuse

Cleveland has always been a fertile ground for experimentation, and the city remains a place where an experiment has the potential to redefine a neighborhood. This session will explore how local academic institutions can facilitate useful experiments for vacancy reuse. Faculty, practitioners, and students from Kent State University’s undergraduate and graduate architecture & landscape architecture programs will present a handful of projects – both built and unbuilt – that explore the edges of possibility that vacant lots can provide in shaping an imagined future.  Coordinators:  Charles Frederick, Kristen Zieber


From Emails to Tweets: Staying In Touch with your Audience

Effectively communicating your mission, vision, programming and successes builds community support, helps make the case for funding and opens the door to new collaborations and partnerships that can enhance your overall impact.  With an emphasis on new media, panelists will discuss how they have used these channels effectively in combination with traditional media and outreach to spread their message and build support. Presenters:  Alexandra Bodie, Katherine Bulova, Matt Martin, Ken Wood


Habitat for Humanity – What’s Happening

Presentation on Cleveland | Presentation on MidOhio

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built or repaired over 1 million homes and served more than 5 million people worldwide. Over 40 years, much has changed, yet Habitat’s mission has stayed the same. This session will provide a current perspective of Habitat’s work in providing affordable housing for low-income families.   Presenters: John Habat, Jason Hackworth


In Trumbull County, TCLRC + TNP = SUCCESS

The Trumbull County Land Bank was the third land bank in Ohio, and is one of the most active. The unique relationship between the Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is what makes this happen! This session will tell the story of in the process.  Presenters:  Sam Lamancusa, Matt Martin


Innovative Code Enforcement Tools:  Fighting Blight Before It Happens

Part 1 | Part 2

As the number of vacant and distressed properties has grown in recent years, the enforcement of housing codes has taken on new importance, and new meaning.  Most housing codes were designed for an earlier period when the main objective was ensuring maintenance and upkeep of occupied dwellings; now code enforcement officials face new challenges with a flood of abandoned buildings.  Communities have limited funds for nuisance abatement and demolition but the need for nuisance abatement dollars is far greater than what’s available.   Now more than ever there is a need for Ohio municipalities to be creative in recovering demolition and nuisance abatement expenditures to enable the limited funds to stretch further. Presenters: Paula Boggs Muething, Sally Martin, Gary Davenport / Moderator:  Frank Ford


Involving Local Residents in Reviving Neighborhoods

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

The participation of local residents is crucial to a successful project.  Residents must have a role in solving problems faced in their neighborhoods This session will demonstrate how three community organizations enlist and utilize volunteers in revitalizing their communities.  Presenters: Chris Alvarado, Lisa Ramsey, Trevelle Harp


Land Banks and Commercial Properties: Strategies and Solutions

Land Banks can be catalysts for the redevelopment of vacant commercial, industrial, and large multi-family properties. However, these properties often come with unique challenges not typically seen in single family homes. By strategically utilizing tax foreclosure, receivership, brownfield assessment funds and other tools, Land Banks can effectively return commercial, industrial and large multi-family properties to productive use while minimizing risks to the organization and the community. Case studies will be used to demonstrate successful strategies for acquisition, disposition, maintenance and marketing. Time will be set aside for open discussion.  Presenter: Joshua Murnan


Land Banking: Small Counties Can Do It Too!

County Land Banks are no longer a tool for only Ohio’s larger, urban counties.  Smaller counties throughout the state have seen the value a county land bank can have in their region.  This session will focus on successes (and sometimes failures) experienced by three newer land banks from various regions of Ohio. There will be lots of opportunities for questions.  This session will be of special interest to counties newly eligible to create a county land bank, following the elimination of the 60,000 population requirement.


NIP: What’s New & What’s Next

Find out all the latest happenings in the NIP program, including an overview of our current spending patterns and the status of oversight measures undertaken by U.S. Department of Treasury officials. Learn more about NIP’s advanced greening options and successful techniques employed by our partners to enhance the community’s impact while efficiently spending down awards. Finally, the session will provide a brief overview of property disposition options that enable land banks to manage their property portfolio and stay in compliance with NIP Guidelines.  Presenter: Carlie Boos


Property Inventories: the How and the Why

Are property surveys worth the expense? How useful is the data obtained through a city-wide survey? This panel will discuss the similarities and differences of property surveys in recent years, and provide insight into how the data can be used.  Panelists: Paul Boehnlein, Jerry Paffendorf, David Mann, Mayor Chase Ritenauer / Moderator: Jim Rokakis


REACH Evanston: An Update on Inclusive Community Revitalization in Cincinnati

Last year, the Hamilton County Land Bank presented a new model for targeted, wide-scale residential renovations known as Rehab Across Cincinnati and Hamilton County, or REACH. Now well underway in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston (35 acquisitions and 11 home renovations later), hear how this transformative program seeks to holistically jump-start neighborhood redevelopment. REACH takes an inclusive approach to development, partnering with institutions, community leaders, police, local government, and private developers.  In this session, you’ll learn how the Hamilton County Land Bank has worked with these community partners, and has acquired, rehabbed, and sold homes in its first REACH neighborhood to re-establish the private market.  Presenters:  Darin C. Hall, Will Basil


Records Retention Strategies for Everybody: Staying Legal with Paper and Meetings

Open Meetings | Responding to a Public Records Requests | 

Record Retention Strategies | Record Retention

Come explore the triumphs and pitfalls of paper management, public records requests, and open meeting requirements for land banking organizations.  You will make paper.  Your papers are public records.  You have to deal with it.  This presentation will not be boring!  Presenters:  Sarah Norman, Jacqui Knettel


Rehabilitation – the Story of Three Cities

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Cincinnati, Warren and Cleveland: three cities working hard to bring back their neighborhoods.  This session focuses on how land banks in Hamilton, Trumbull and Cuyahoga counties approach the When, Where, Why and How of residential rehabilitation.  Presenters:  Shawn Carvin, Deborah Robb, Dennis Roberts


Sustaining Sustainable Sites: Low Cost/High Impact Solutions

Part 1 | Part 2

A lot has been learned from overseeing greening projects in Cleveland’s neighborhoods over the past six years – including what not to do and what to do differently on the front end. This is a workshop that will share the knowledge gained about the important role front-end planning and ongoing maintenance play in keeping these greening strategies impactful. All participants will receive a copy of the Re-imagining Cleveland Field Manual, produced by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress in collaboration with the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Presenters:  Linda Warren, Sandra Albro, Terry Schwarz


Tackling Vacant Lots One Tree at a Time: Utilizing a Community-Based Reforestation Program for Stabilization

Reforest Our City is the shared vision for the future of Cleveland’s urban forest which inspires and engages stakeholders in caring for and protecting trees. In this session we will discuss and dissect the importance of trees in stabilizing blighted neighborhoods and how engaging neighborhood ‘Tree Stewards’ is helping to rally stakeholders to, and investments in, reforestation efforts throughout Cleveland. In addition we will share examples of projects and funding sources available for implementation. Trees are vital to the health of our communities as they are infrastructure that increases in value over time instead of depreciating. Trees save energy, reduce stormwater runoff, enhance property values, improve air quality and make our neighborhoods more attractive.  Presenters: Chadwick Clink, Colby Sattler


Working with Community Partners: It’s a Two-Way Street

Strategic partnerships are vital to both effective land bank operations and targeted community development efforts. In this session, Debora Flora, Executive Director of the Mahoning County Land Bank, and Tiffany Sokol, Housing Director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, will discuss how their two organizations are partnering in Youngstown, Ohio – leveraging the strengths of both organizations to realize their respective missions. The pair will provide concrete examples of their joint work together in neighborhood stabilization, land reuse, and housing, as well as explain why this multifaceted partnership has been and continues to be beneficial for both groups and the communities they serve.  Presenters: Debora Flora, Tiffany Sokol