Ohio Land Bank Conference Sessions and Presentations – 2016

The 2016 Ohio Land Bank Conference sessions are listed below; presentations that have been made available by the presenters are linked. Simply click on the presentation to view and download.


150,000 Tax Foreclosures & 100,000 Land Bank Properties: A Discussion with Detroit  – no presentation available

Over the last 15 years, more than 150,000 Detroit properties have been tax foreclosed and auctioned, and local land banks currently own more than 100,000 properties. Representatives from the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Wayne County Land Bank, Wayne County Treasurer’s Office, and the local data scene will discuss their work and how they are dealing with this unprecedented situation. Presenters: Phil Cavanagh, Jelani Karamoko, Robert Linn, Jerry Paffendorf


2016 Ohio Foreclosure Reform: Impact on Land Banks and Their Mission (CLE Credit)

In May of this year, the Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 390, a comprehensive mortgage foreclosure reform bill proposed by the banking industry. The bill was promoted as a means of “fast tracking” mortgage foreclosure on abandoned property, to protect communities from blight. Housing, community development and land banking advocates have raised concerns that some provisions of the legislation may actually undermine the work of community stabilization and housing market recovery. This session will cover what the banking industry proposed, counter-proposals from community advocates, what made it into the final bill, and how land banks and communities will be impacted. Presenters: Frank Ford, Gus Frangos, David Mann, Regina Van Vorous


Asset-Based Microplanning in Youngstown, OH

The City of Youngstown and the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) have created a simple, yet innovative approach to neighborhood revitalization through the development of action plans and asset-based micro plans for eleven neighborhoods in Youngstown. These plans use a data driven approach to identify and prioritize housing, infrastructure, and crime issues affecting the neighborhood. Once plans are developed, neighborhood action teams are established to drive implementation efforts. Action teams are comprised of neighborhood residents, institutional partners, city officials, and YNDC staff. Neighborhood action plans and asset-based micro plans are place-based revitalization strategies that seek to improve neighborhood conditions for both residents and those served by the community asset, often youth attending school or visiting a playground. Plan implementation seeks to bring new resources to distressed communities that would otherwise not receive such assistance. Neighborhood action teams create new partnerships between organizations and residents, who have a voice in planning, implementation, and decision-making and become more invested in their community and its future. In addition, the action teams increase mutual accountability and transparency among all partners thereby generating more significant impact. Presenters: Ian Beniston, Tom Hetrick


Beyond Property Surveys: Using Point- in-time Surveys for Action and Research

Many communities facing blight have engaged in community-wide surveys or assessments of the occupancy and condition of properties. These surveys are an important activity to support an understanding of current community conditions and strategize potential solutions. They are also, however, costly to implement and quickly become outdated. During 2014, Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities program, a statewide effort in Ohio to help revitalize urban centers, conducted a citywide property survey in Cleveland. During this session, Thriving Communities staff will describe how the citywide survey is used by community development actors to develop community development activities based on local priorities. On the research side, machine-learning models can make use of one-point-in-time property surveys to forecast distressed areas into the future. The Poverty Center used the survey as “ground truth” to determine whether other public data can be used to estimate property’s occupancy or vacancy status, aiding community organizations to prioritize limited resources. The Poverty Center has also used the survey in combination with public data to examine the impact of vacancy on other community health and well-being measures, like crime and lead poisoning. Participants will leave with clear ideas on the value and limitations of point-in-time surveys, what it takes to implement one such survey, and how one community has leveraged this tool for community development action. Presenters: Frank Ford, Francisca Garca-Cobin Richter, Michael Schramm, April Urban


The Cleveland Tree Plan: How Public and Private Partnerships Can Add Value to Land Bank Initiatives

In 2015, the City of Cleveland and a wide variety of tree experts and community stakeholders created the Cleveland Tree Plan. The organizations represented on this panel were the driving force behind creating and now implementing this plan. Cleveland is in the midst of a revitalization to improve the quality of life for all citizens and much like addressing vacant and abandoned homes, tree canopy is an important element in this transformation. The Cleveland Tree Plan includes three primary goals: (1) recognize trees as critical community infrastructure, (2) reverse the trend of canopy loss, and (3) assume full stewardship for the tree infrastructure. The panelists will do a deep dive into these goals, including the current value of Cleveland’s trees, how the state of the city’s urban forest was evaluated, discussion on the nine actions required to turn these goals into reality, as well as the importance of this plan to the future of post-demolition lot treatments and stabilization. Presenters: Jennifer Braman, Chad Clink, Matt Gray, Joe Gregory, Colby Sattler


Commercial/Industrial Property Acquisition by Land Banks: CERCLA Liability, All Appropriate Inquiry, and U.S.EPA Assessment and Cleanup Grants

This session will inform land banks and municipalities regarding how to limit their CERCLA/Superfund liability when acquiring contaminated property. We will discuss the need for Phase I and Phase II assessments, involuntary acquisition, and how to manage environmental risk. Information regarding U.S.EPA Brownfields Assessment and Clean Up grants and the Targeted Brownfields Assessment (TBA) program will be presented. Presenters: Karla Auker


Community Engagement – no presentation available

Discover from a diverse group of seasoned leaders how to partner and learn from the community to create positive outcomes for residents, stakeholders, and you. Presenters: Shawn Carvin, Jacqueline Gillon, Trevelle Harp, Lee Kay, Kerry McCormack, Akshai Singh


A Comprehensive Approach to Neighborhood Revitalization: Land Banks, Demolition, and Investment (CLE Credit)

The City of Sandusky is working towards a comprehensive approach to revitalize its neighborhoods. The multifaceted approach requires team work between several different city departments and includes initiatives on targeted demolition, reuse of land through its land bank program, and strategic neighborhood investment. Demolition is targeted to the most blighted properties and in the hardest hit neighborhoods. Structures that are deemed salvageable are marketed at low cost to new homebuyers with preference given to owner occupancy. The sale of these properties to motivated individuals that will rehabilitate and occupy them aids the city by promoting permanent residency. Recently, a partnership was forged between the City of Sandusky’s Land Bank and the Erie County Land Reutilization Corporation in order to facilitate a combination of valuable resources that will provide an efficient regional benefit. Finally, the city’s neighborhood initiative strategically invests in districts to create a sense of identity, markets the city’s housing and economic development programs to residents and businesses, invests in a community anchor project, finds and cultivates relationships with community partners and encourages dialogue between neighbors. Presenters: Matt Lasko, Amanda McClain, Eric Wobser


County Land Banks 101 (CLE Credit)

Land Bank 101 will review issues related to governance, property acquisition, property disposition, revenue and budgeting, human resources, and community engagement for land reutilization corporations from the perspective of the Lucas County Land Bank, Ohio’s second oldest operating land reutilization corporation. This session will be focused on support for new and emerging land banks in Ohio, but will be beneficial for Ohio land banks at any stage of development.  Presenters: David Mann, Josh Murnen


Data Centralization: Managing Migration and Integration of Discrete Data Systems

Whether just starting out or bringing along years’ worth of data, centralizing data management systems is essential to land banks seeking to grow the breadth and depth of their programming and services. Three land banks in Ohio have migrated to new data-management systems within the last couple of years, and will share their experience and current usage and talk about plans for the future. Presenters: Gary Davenport, Savannah Diamond, Brandon Gumm, Michael Schramm


Delinquent Tax Certificates: An Acquisition Tool for County Land Banks (CLE Credit)

The sale of delinquent tax certificates is a tool used by Ohio county treasurers to increase tax revenue since 1999. County land banks may purchase tax certificates through a negotiated sale as an alternate method of acquiring tax delinquent properties. This session will discuss the steps required for a negotiated tax certificate sale, the purchase of tax certificates at a deep discount by county land banks and acquisition of the property through a private tax foreclosure. This session is specifically designed to provide county land banks with another property acquisition tool. Presenter: Robin Darden Thomas


Demolition 101 (CLE Credit)

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 you will need 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. Presenters: Jane Larson, Deidre Lightning Whitted, Jim Maher, Cheryl Stephens, Rosemary Woodruff


Demolition, Rehabilitation, and Greening: Comprehensive Approaches to Neighborhood Transformation

This session will provide an overview of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s work with the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Presenters will share their work around demolition advocacy, greening, placemaking, and community engagement, particularly as it applies to work with a local community group and Habitat for Humanity. Buckeye Ministers in Mission Alliance, Thriving Communities, and Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity have partnered on the revitalization of a southeast community in Cleveland. This community has been hard hit by high rates of blighted structures and vacancy. Though this presents challenges to the resiliency and strength of the neighborhood, the residents remain invaluable assets within the community and drive the progress that has occurred thus far. Guided by the vision of the residents and the Buckeye Ministers in Mission Alliance, the team works to identify and prioritize structures in need of urgent demolition, partner with the city and county land banks to track structures within their demolition processes, and communicate the status of these properties with residents and other stakeholders. Presenters: Kirby Broadnax, Pastor Earnest Fields, Jacqueline Gillon, John Habat, Domenick Mucci, Ernest Turner


Dumpster Diving with Data

Local governments have a lot of information on properties and their populations; however, this data often is often ‘dumped’ in disjointed locations. Emergency calls, code enforcement results, property conditions, utility bills, business locations, historic property information, and more are used by distinct organizations for specific purposes. The presenters will discuss how to measure the changes within neighborhoods and the effects of dilapidation and blight (and the challenges of this process). This will be accompanied by a demonstration of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’ Progress Index on how CDC leaders can use a dashboard of neighborhood indicators, helping them identify trends and develop data-informed strategies. Additionally, attendees will learn how the CommunityViz scenario-planning software is used in Lorain, Ohio to determine site suitability, optimal types of development, and 3-D visualization models. The presenters will focus on a variety of ways in which different tools function, how the analysis techniques are implemented, as well as the potential for replicability. Finally, the presenters will outline how to increase citizen participation using data in priority-setting, planning processes, and resource-based decisions. Presenters: Nina Holzer, Dan Kuhlmann, Isaac Robb


The Economic Value of Housing Rehabilitation

Housing rehabilitation remains an essential need in our communities. Many neighborhoods have sturdy housing stock that is completely viable for reinvestment and transformation into homes suited for modern day living. This existing resource is a very practical way to provide affordable housing within walkable neighborhoods close to public transportation. Learn about the value of rehab a high level overview of the recently-released report commissioned by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Decision Support for Property Intervention Rehab Impacts in Greater Cleveland: 2009 – 2015. The Heritage Home Program’s approach to vacant house rehab and general rehab of rental and owner-occupied houses positively correlates with neighborhood stability, increased property values and negligible foreclosure rates, as proven by independent studies.  Presenters: Kathleen Crowther, Justin Fleming, Tom Jorgensen, Margaret Lann


Estimating the Impacts of Programmatic Rehabilitation in Greater Cleveland, 2009-2015

In 2013, U.S. Treasury authorized select states to use their Hardest Hit Fund allocations to eliminate blight through demolition. U.S. Treasury authorized demolition of blight because research by Dynamo Metrics established that it protects home values and preserves homeownership. Late last year, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress asked Dynamo Metrics to investigate whether blight elimination through housing rehabilitation also protects home values and preserves homeownership. This session will provide detailed answers to this question, and will also explore the interactive, online tool simultaneously developed to guide policymakers in their decision making. This session will also show how the data readily available from county treasurers and auditors can be used to create decision-support tools for land bank and municipal leaders. Presenters: Ben Calnin, Nigel Griswold, Edward Herman


The First Five Years: Holistic Revitalization of the Evanston Neighborhood (CLE Credit)

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, through management of the Hamilton County Landbank, has a 10-year commitment to the Evanston neighborhood to initiate economic development and revitalize the neighborhood in a way that all can participate in prosperity created. Four years into the plan, the Hamilton County Landbank has initiated a residential rehab program (REACH Evanston) that has rehabbed and sold 14 vacant homes. It has paired the residential strategy with a business district revitalization plan. This distressed neighborhood’s recovery has been recently noted by The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, which released in May 2016 its Community Stabilization Index tracking local housing market conditions, with a particular focus on recovery potential. The index cites Evanston has improved consistently, as the Landbank’s acquisition/rehab work has bumped median property values closer to pre-recession levels, up by 24.58 percent from $71,148 in 2013 to $88,636 in 2014. During the neighborhood’s heyday, Evanston’s residents could eat, shop and gather in stores along Montgomery Avenue from the southern Five Points district to the northern end of the business district. The Hamilton County Landbank is now acquiring properties that can again contribute to local access to food and services for residents. This summer, Findlay Market Farmstand is selling local produce on a landbank-owned site that was once a dangerous convenience store. And, as the nuisance abatement enforcement agent of the City of Cincinnati, the landbank stepped in to repair a blighted, historic property for future mixed-use redevelopment within this important district.  Presenters: Will Basil, Darin Hall, Deborah Robb


Innovative Housing Solutions

During the worst part of the housing foreclosure crisis, demolishing blighted properties was the main strategy in many city neighborhoods. As conditions have stabilized (in some neighborhoods more than others), housing rehabilitation and infill development are now a viable alternative to demolition. This session explores effective strategies for neighborhood generation in neighborhoods with strong and weak real estate markets. Also, panelists will address the role of land banks in supporting innovative housing solutions and the importance of technical support and community engagement in promoting rehab strategies. The panelists will present exciting ideas and ambitious programs for neighborhood regeneration, describing how elements of their programs that can be adopted and implemented in other communities. Presenters: Andrea Bruno, Victoria Byrd Olivier, Adam Davenport, Cory Riordan, Dennis Roberts, Terry Schwarz


Keynote Speaker – Julian Agyeman,  Ph.D. FRSA FRGS

Dr. Agyeman is a professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, will deliver a keynote address over lunch on Oct. 27. He is the originator of the concept of ‘just sustainabilities,‘ the full integration of social justice and sustainability, defined as: the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems. As an ecologist/biogeographer turned environmental social scientist, he has both a science and social science background which helps frame his perspectives, research and scholarship. He thrives at the borders and intersections of a wide range of knowledges, disciplines and methodologies which he utilizes in creative and original ways in his research.


Land Banks and Brownfields: Funding Sources and Community Partners for Remediation and Redevelopment

Each brownfield site presents its own unique challenges when it comes to remediation and redevelopment. Particularly important for gas station remediation, this session will provide information about brownfield financial resources and strategies available to land banks and community partners, along with two case studies from the City of Geneva that illustrate how various programs are effectively used. The goal of the session is to help land banks from around Ohio understand the important role they play and the various tools for brownfield remediation through explanation of the process, description of resources and selected case studies. Presenters: Gregory DeGulis, Larry Smith, Amanda White


Land Banks Work (Land Bank 201)

Land Banks Work will present inspiring and innovative projects that have been accomplished using the land reutilization toolkit by the Lucas County Land Bank in Toledo, Ohio over the past 6 years. Come and learn about what has worked, what hasn’t, and how land banks can serve a major role in revitalizing the spirit of community development in Ohio. Presenters: Shantae Brownlee, David Mann, Anne Wistow


MOOS: Making Our Own Space

Panelists will discuss the value of engaging youth in neighborhood development based on their experiences working on the Making Our Own Space (MOOS) project. Started in 2015 by Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, MOOS is a collaborative effort to empower young Clevelanders with the skills to creatively transform their neighborhood public spaces. Through hands-on outdoor workshops, students design and construct environments and playscapes that are appealing and usable to their community. The MOOS program began in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood through the support of the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Now in its second year in Buckeye, MOOS students have built a range of improvements for Britt Oval, a previously underused green space in the neighborhood. Currently in its inaugural year, the MOOS @ Shaker Heights project supports the Moreland Rising, a City- and neighborhood-led collaboration with arts, business and development partners to create a Moreland hub of innovation. Presenters: Nelson Beckford, David Jurca, A. De’Angelo Knuckles, Kamla Lewis


Moving Towards Rehabilitation- Historic Preservation for Land Banks (CLE Credit)

Staff from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office can help you think about adding more tools to your land bank. Let’s talk about integrating historic preservation planning within your target areas, using free GIS access and historic survey data to identify key buildings. Then, let’s learn about federal and state tax credit programs for substantial rehabilitation projects, administered in partnership with the National Park Service and Ohio Development Services Agency. Bring your own historic preservation questions to conclude the session! Panelists: Lisa Adkins, Nathan Bevil, Lisa Brownell, Mary Ogle


NIP Reimbursement Workshop  – no presentation available

This session is a walk through the Hardest Hit Fund Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) Reimbursement process from start to finish. Guidelines, stacking order and sample packets will be provided along with tips for success and common misconceptions. Presenter: Andi Clark


NIP Updates (CLE Credit)

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency will be sharing Hardest Hit Fund program performance across all states with a focus on blight removal. The session will include changes to the Ohio program over the last twelve months, including the new line of credit program. Additionally, special guests from the Lucas, Jefferson and Trumbull County land banks will be sharing highlights of how the Neighborhood Initiative Program has helped to reform their communities. Presenters: Shawn Carvin, Jim Durham, David Mann, Holly Swisher


Partnerships: Land Banks, Nonprofits, and Community Development Corporations

Partnerships are a key part of the success of the land banking movement. Land banks, community development corporations, and other non-profits have developed a wide range of collaborations to transform blighted properties into community assets. Panelists will showcase several different types of projects and creative partnerships that they have developed to further their respective missions and to improve the communities in which they operate. In describing these efforts, panelists will also share the perspective of their roles (as land bank, neighborhood development corporation, and neighborhood development corporation operating a land bank); discuss the lessons they learned from working with partners; and engage with session attendees to explore the ingredients of successful partnerships. Presenters: Andrea Bruno, Benjamin Faller, Matt Martin, Camille Maxwell, Lilah Zautner


Platforms for Commercial Redevelopment – What’s Next for Land Banks

“Expand and grow!” is what we say to successful businesses in our communities, however physical obstacles often prevent growth. Frequently businesses within the core city and inner ring suburbs are surrounded by vacant structures that are blighted or functionally obsolete. Nearby abandoned, vacant lots are littered with unsightly debris. Land banks are uniquely empowered to acquire these properties, remove title defects, demolish, improve the physical appearance, clear tax liabilities, and work with local communities to facilitate development and growth. Creating a base platform for a business to expand and create more jobs in your county is a way for all land banks to achieve an important part of their mission. Representatives from Cuyahoga, Lucas and Hamilton counties will discuss how they made this happen. Presenters: Josh Murnen, Christopher Recht, Cheryl Stephens


Records Retention (CLE Credit)

Paper management! Public records requests! Open meeting requirements! –all exhilarating and profound topics for land banking organizations! You have to deal with it, so come get your free “sunshine law” toolbox from us. This presentation will not be boring! Presenters: Jacqui Knettel, Sarah Norman


Transforming Blighted Communities – no presentation available

Communities face unique challenges as they address issues surrounding blight caused by vacant and abandoned properties. Issues include declining property values, increased cost of police and fire protection, reputational risk, and increased code enforcement. Panelists will discuss innovative strategies to eradicate blight and place communities on the road to recovery. Effective code enforcement, identification of and communication with mortgage servicers, effective securitization of vacant and abandoned properties, land banking, and maintaining values in communities will be addressed. Presenters: Robert Klein, Jim Rokakis