Ohio Land Bank Conference Sessions – 2017


The 2017 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.

For a printable schedule of the conference, please click here: 2017 Ohio Land Bank Conference Schedule.


Awesome! Greening and Its Impact on People

This session will be an interactive discussion about the intangible benefits of beautifying or repurposing vacant property.  Has your land bank led a greening project that generated strong, positive reactions? Let’s talk about those awe-inspiring experiences as well as emerging research about awe – an emotion akin to a reset button that can impact health, relationships and collaborations.  Presenters: Debora Flora, Matt Martin


Bank Agreements Could Bring Billions to Ohio

Three Ohio banks have recently signed “Community Benefits Agreements” stemming from accusations that they failed to meet the credit and banking needs of the communities they serve. The agreements are substantial (Key Bank – $16 billion, Fifth Third Bank – $28.5 billion, Huntington Bank – $16 billion) and may provide a new opportunity to finance community revitalization and stabilization. Representatives from several Ohio communities will discuss how they are working with banks to tap into these resources.  Presenters: Barbara Anderson, Catherine Crosby, Frank Ford


Beyond NIP: OHFA’s Housing Programs

There’s a lot more to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency than the Neighborhood Initiative Program.  Come learn about our homeownership products that offer low- and moderate-income homebuyers competitive interest rates and mortgage options for their dream home. Also hear what’s new from our multifamily department and how Ohio supports affordable rental housing throughout the state, including with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. The session will open a new dialogue between OHFA and our land bank partners to explore how we can combine each of our programming tools to best support your communities.  Presenters: Carlie J. Boos, Jon Duy


(MOBILE TOUR) Cleveland’s Buckeye Neighborhood: A Case Study in Comprehensive Community Redevelopment

Thanks to strategic location, demographics, and institutional and philanthropic commitment, Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood has slowly become a case study in comprehensive community redevelopment. This driving tour will showcase the prolonged and wide-ranging reinvestment approach by highlighting projects past, present, and future—and how they are connecting to transform the area.  Presenters: Justin Flemming, Wayne Mortensen


County Land Banks 101

County Land Banks 101 is designed to introduce new, newer, and future land banks to issues related to governance, property acquisition, property disposition, revenue and budgeting, human resources, Neighborhood Initiative Program compliance, and community engagement for county land reutilization corporations from the perspective of the Lucas County Land Bank, based in Toledo, Ohio and Ohio’s second oldest operating land reutilization corporation.  The 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.  Robust Q&A will be encouraged during and after speaker presentations.  Presenters: David Mann, Josh Murnen


Data Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Testimonials that Every Land Bank Should Hear

Data can be intimidating! Come to a judgment free zone to learn straightforward methods using readily available tools to make your professional land bank and/or community development life easier! Come learn different tips, tricks, and tools from an array of approachable data savvy land bank nerds. Topics include: simple mapping, comparing and combining different spreadsheets, data preparation and cleaning, and summarizing data. We will also discuss invaluable data sources. Finally, in the discussion period, we’d like to know what’s up your sleeve and hear your tricks and methods. We welcome any specific problems, questions or scenarios you are involved in related to data!  Presenters: Jessica Masters, James McGuire, Isaac Robb, Michael Schramm


Demolition 101

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, and one of the most important factors getting contractors/vendors paid.  Presenters: Jane Larson, Deidre Lightning-Whitted, Jim Maher, Cheryl Stephens, Rosemary Woodruff


Expedited Tax Foreclosures

Expedited tax foreclosures utilizing the County Board of Revision allow land banks to acquire vacant and blighted properties more quickly than traditional judicial foreclosures. This session will discuss the legislation authorizing BOR foreclosures and review procedural steps and processes. A film prepared by Trumbull County will allow participants to view different cases presented to the Board and witness various outcomes of these cases. There will be plenty of time for discussion.  Presenters: Sam Lamancusa


Getting the Work Done: Youngstown’s Model to Revitalize Vacant Homes in a Weak Market Context

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Mahoning County Land Bank, and City of Youngstown have worked together for the past two years to develop an effective and growing market rate, market ready vacant home rehabilitation model. The model will be described in detail including data, partnerships, rehabilitation process, marketing, and creative use of local funding sources. The model will generate 30 market rate, market ready houses in 2017 without the use of federal or state subsidy.  Presenters: Ian Beniston, Tiffany Sokol


Historic and New Market Tax Credits

As an ever-increasing inventory of vacant structures continues to transfer into Land Banks around the country, Developers have turned to a number of equity sources to help give new life to long-forgotten buildings and sites. Federal and State Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits have emerged as crucial financing tools that provide the equity required to overcome the additional hard and soft costs that these types of projects usually incur. This session will look at specific examples where these credits, when combined with other financing sources, have helped to repurpose abandoned structures, revitalize neighborhoods, and stimulate economic and community development.  Presenters: Betsy Figgie, Arne Goldman


Historic Preservation: HP Tools for Land Banks

Staff from the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office and the Ohio Development Services Agency will help you grow your land bank toolbox. We’ll talk about integrating historic preservation into your planning activities, including using our free GIS system to check on survey data, looking at preservation based financial incentives for planning and redevelopment, and partnering with other organizations. Come prepared with your questions about historic preservation and find out how we can help you!  Presenters: Lisa Adkins, Nathan Bevil, Lisa Brownell


Land Banks and Economic Development Pt. 1

Land Banks and Economic Development Pt. 2

Ohio’s county land banks do far more than demolition and side lots. Mature land banks are taking an active role in improving the economy of their region by turning vacant land and blighted properties into community assets. Vacant buildings are brought back to life, unused vacant lots become part of a larger project and neighborhoods enjoy amenities such as new stores and restaurants. This session will demonstrate what several land banks are doing to encourage economic development in their counties.  Presenters: Shawn Carvin, Tom Hale, Lauren Johnson, Roger Smith, Curtiss Williams



This is the opportunity for county land banks to find out what similar size land banks are doing, discuss challenges and solutions, and gain best practices from throughout the state.  Moderators will facilitate sessions for large, medium and small land banks.


(ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION) Let’s Talk Land Banks for Prosecuters

This session is an opportunity for county prosecutors and assistant prosecutors to discuss the nuances of foreclosures related to county land banks.  Bring your questions and opinions!


Leveraging the Free Market to Save Communities in Crisis

Metro West Community Development Organization has spent the past six years developing and refining a code enforcement strategy that identifies and addresses at-risk structures. An in-depth knowledge of the service area’s built environment and a partnership with CCLRC has positioned MW to leverage relationships with local developers and potential home-owner occupants; reactivating these structure as contributing elements to the neighborhoods it serves. With a goal of establishing healthy home standards and creating equitable homeownership opportunities, MW has salvaged nearly 150 dwellings and has placed this tactic at the core of its placemaking initiatives.  Presenters: Tony Bango, Kris Harsh


Neighborhood Initiative Program: Multi-Structure Greening and Development

A review of how to identify larger structures in your community that may be addressed under NIP. Includes examples from several areas across the state and how these land banks have successfully demolished, greened and re-developed properties to reach the goal of neighborhood stabilization.  Presenters: Marc Gardner


OH/LEX: Engaging Stakeholders, Mapping Parcels and Testing Soils Pt. 1 – coming soon!

OH/LEX: Engaging Stakeholders, Mapping Parcels and Testing Soils Pt. 2

OH/LEX: Engaging Stakeholders, Mapping Parcels and Testing Soils Pt. 3

This session will introduce participants to an integrated approach to engaging stakeholders, mapping parcels and testing soils for communities facing significant levels of vacancy and abandonment. We will discuss results from our pilot-test of the “Ohio Land Exchange” system, or OH/LEX in Lima, OH over the past two years and present our new online parcel mapping system. In addition, a low-cost soil testing kit that local governments and organizations can use to rapidly asses key characteristics of soils in urban areas will be presented.

Presenters: Jake Boswell, Mattijs Van Maasakkers


OH/LEX: The Simulation

Talking to communities and stakeholders about the challenges associated with vacant and abandoned land can be challenging, given varying levels of interest, resources and expertise. To enable quick and engaging community conversations about relevant challenges and opportunities, the OH/LEX team has developed a 60 minute negotiation game around 5 lots in a hypothetical mid-sized city in Ohio. By playing the game and then discussing it during this session, you’ll be able to determine if this approach to community engagement is relevant for your community.  Presenters: Jacob Boswell, Mattijs van Maasakkers


Rebuild Invest Stabilize Engage – Lessons & Successes from Targeted Neighborhood Investment

Facing a sparsity of community development organizations in Toledo, the Lucas County Land Bank has targeted time and resources toward key neighborhoods in order to Rebuild, Invest, Stabilize, and Engage (RISE).  Through homeowner and business investments and strategic renovation with the land bank as developer, RISE has helped this land bank evolve in new and exciting ways. This panel discussion will provide an overview of key programs, recent successes, lessons learned, and ways in which these efforts could be replicated in your own community.  Presenters: Shantae Brownlee, Josh Murnen, Anne Wistow


Records Retention Pt. 1

Records Retention Pt. 2

Records Retention Pt. 3

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: Sarah Norman, Jacqui Knettel, Doug Sawyer


Rehab Strategies for Vacant Properties Pt. 1

Rehab Strategies for Vacant Properties Pt .2

Rehab Strategies for Vacant Properties Pt. 3

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, land banks had the difficult task of demolishing many vacant and blighted buildings. As housing markets gradually recover, rehabilitation becomes a more important part of the land bank tool kit. This session will explore rehabilitation practices and innovative design ideas to increase the value of vacant houses in strong market neighborhoods; low cost rehab ideas and a decision-making framework for rescuing abandoned homes in weak market neighborhoods; a process for identifying architecturally and historically buildings; and a case study of an effort to stabilize and restore one of Cleveland’s hidden architectural treasures.  Presenters: Terry Schwarz


(MOBILE TOUR) Rid-All Green Partnership – Growing Food, Jobs and Green Neighborhoods

This mobile workshop will take you to Cleveland’s “Forgotten Triangle” – land which was left to rot after a fire ravaged homes and destroyed the land. You will tour Rid-All Green Partnership (RAGP), a 26-acre farm growing healthy organic food, hiring local people, teaching youth about the environment by sponsoring fieldtrips and doing workshops to train community members on how to compost and make rain barrels. You will learn about their composting process and raising tilapia and prawns utilizing aquaponics. What was once a forgotten triangle is now unforgettable.  Presenters: Keymah Durden


Sharing Land Bank Success

As the 7th Annual Ohio Land Bank Conference draws to a close, this is an opportunity for land banks to share their success with their peers. Participating land banks will have 5 minutes and use no more than 5 slides to present one of their success stories. Whether large or small, each land bank can benefit from learning what other land banks are doing. Please share!


State and Federal Funding Resources for Brownfields Pt. 1

State and Federal Funding Resources for Brownfields Pt. 2

State and Federal Funding Resources for Brownfields Pt. 3

State and Federal Funding Resources for Brownfields Pt. 4

Land Banks are uniquely positioned to play an important role in brownfield redevelopment projects.  As an eligible entity, land banks may apply for state and federal funding resources to assist with brownfield assessment and cleanup activities.  This session includes a brief discussion of the brownfield redevelopment process, liability considerations, as well as presentations of the common brownfield funding resources for Ohio.  Presenters: Katie Courtright, April Stevens


Tax Classification of Land Banks

How do you know whether your county land bank may exclude all its income from federal gross income as a government instrumentality or should apply for tax exempt status as a charity or social welfare organization under 501(c)(3) or (4)? Six Ohio land banks recently obtained private letter rulings from the IRS determining that they were government instrumentalities. This discussion will help you understand how Internal Revenue Code Section 115 differs from 501(c), the procedures necessary if your county land bank wants to obtain its own private letter ruling, and the considerations to make before selecting a path. You will also hear from one Ohio land bank that is taking a hybrid approach.  Presenters: Alexis Kim with Curtiss Williams


The Key to a Successful County Land Bank – Collaboration!

Land banks are complicated. They require the cooperation of many county offices. They require the’ buy in’ of the communities where they are working. They have to communicate clearly–not only with their Board–but to the general public so as to not create misunderstandings. This session will focus in on all of these relationships and look at how collaboration can make your land bank work even better. There will be real examples of how county land banks are achieving these goals.  Presenters: Jim Rokakis


Using Strategic Tax Foreclosures to Create Community Partnerships

This session will demonstrate how research and data can promote economic development of unproductive properties and engage the social service communities’ facility needs.  Presenters: Gus Frangos


Using Survey Data to Inform Decision-Making: Explorations of Hotspots of Vacancy, Crime and Lead Exposure in Cleveland, Ohio

This panel discussion will show how collaboration across sectors can assist community leaders in their decision-making regarding vacant and distressed houses. Using the 2015 community wide vacancy and condition survey from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, researchers at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University will describe the design and findings for a study which examines spatial patterns of vacancy, crime, and childhood lead exposure. Discussion will focus on findings that hot spots of vacancy co-occur with hot spots of violent crime and lead exposure, and how community leaders can disseminate data to assist with decision-making.  Presenters: Laura Schuch, April Urban


Vacancy and Climate Resilience

Cities in the Midwest and the Great Lakes region face significant challenges that put the health of residents and the environment at risk. These challenges include heat waves, more intense storms, and frequent flooding. The danger is real. For example, in Cleveland, temperatures have risen three times faster than the national average. An abundance of pavement and a shrinking tree canopy in the former “Forest City” are contributing to the increase. However, the city has demolished many abandoned buildings and now has a growing inventory of vacant land. These vacant sites can be used for green space, stormwater management, reforestation, and gathering places that help reduce social isolation.  Presenters: Nicholas Rajkovich, Terry Schwarz


Where Land Banks and Brownfields Meet

Land banks can be used as a redevelopment tool for positive transformation of Brownfield properties. The biggest challenges to Brownfield redevelopment are typically environmental liability management, demolition costs, and obtaining clean title. Land banks are uniquely positioned to manage such risks. Building on the prior presentation by the Ohio and United States EPAs, this program will connect the dots and show how land banks can utilize the EPA and other programs to facilitate Brownfield redevelopment. Multiple case studies will be reviewed that focus on how it was done, so that the audience members can walk away with a plan and ideas to bring these strategies to their communities.  Presenters: Dan Brown, John Garvey


Working Together To Revitalize Our Neighborhoods

Robust partnerships can be developed between county land banks and municipal government. This session examines the ways that these organizations are working together to revitalize urban neighborhoods in Akron. This interactive session will focus on a partnership to develop an engaging and outward-facing database for the sale and disposition of land bank and city-owned property. It will also explore topics related to the land bank’s acquisition and reutilization process in Akron, and the City’s housing strategy, with its ambitious goal to grow the city’s population to 250,000 by 2050. Discussion and audience participation is encouraged.  Presenters: Patrick Bravo, Jason Segedy