Money, time added to fight blight

Mont­gomery County look­ing at 29 eye­sores. Land bank gets $500,000 in ad­di­tional fed­eral fund­ing.

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL & STATE - By Cor­nelius Fro­lik Staff Writer

The Mont­gomery County land bank has re­ceived ad­di­tional fund­ing and a time ex­ten­sion to spend fed­eral money to re­move blighted and aban­doned struc­tures.

The Ohio Hous­ing Fi­nance Agency last month awarded the land bank $500,000 in fed­eral Neigh­bor­hood Ini­tia­tive Pro­gram (NIP) funds to help elim­i­nate 29 or more eye­sores. The land bank also was given a 12-month ex­ten­sion to spend its NIP funds.

The ad­di­tional fund­ing and ex­tended dead­line will al­low the land bank to de­mol­ish about 10 per­cent more struc­tures than pre­vi­ously an­tic­i­pated, said Mike Grauwel­man, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the land bank.

“The funds rep­re­sent an ad­di­tional re­source and an­other step in ad­dress­ing the is­sue of blight in our com­mu­nity,” he said. “It (blight) robs us of wealth by de­stroy­ing property val­ues and neigh­bor­hoods by cre­at­ing un­safe con­di­tions.”

The land bank had al­ready been awarded more than $5.3 mil­lion in fed­eral money to help pre­vent fore­clo­sures and sta­bi­lize neigh­bor­hoods in sev­eral lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. The NIP fund­ing is split be­tween Day­ton, Trot­wood, Jef­fer­son Twp. and Har­ri­son Twp.

The lo­cal land bank was one of only a dozen in the state that ex­ceeded the min­i­mum ac­qui­si­tion goal by at least 130 per­cent and had also be­gun

the in­voic­ing process prior to Oc­to­ber 2015, said Sean Thomas, chief of staff with the Ohio Hous­ing Fi­nance Agency.

Meet­ing th­ese “mile­stones” qual­i­fied the land bank to re­ceive the $500,000 per­for­mance bonus, he said.

The money comes from re­cy­cled Hard­est Hit funds. The 12 land banks re­ceived funds that were shifted away from oth­ers that did not meet min­i­mum property ac­qui­si­tion re­quire­ments, Thomas said.

The Mont­gomery County land bank also now has un­til June 2017 to com­plete its de­mo­li­tion projects us­ing NIP funds. The dead­line was pushed back from June 2016.

The grant fund­ing re­quires lank banks to own the prop­er­ties they de­mol­ish. Since most prop­er­ties are ac­quired through tax fore­clo­sure — which can take six to nine months to com­plete —the ex­ten­sion buys valu­able time to clear the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dural hur­dles.

The land bank expects to de­mol­ish more than 300 prop­er­ties in to­tal us­ing NIP dol­lars, in­clud­ing 29 or more prop­er­ties us­ing the per­for­mance bonus, said Grauwel­man.

The av­er­age cost of the group’s de­mo­li­tion projects is about $17,000, which in­cludes ac­qui­si­tion, ad­min­is­tra­tive and en­vi­ron­men­tal-re­me­di­a­tion costs.

Most tar­geted prop­er­ties are aban­doned sin­gle­fam­ily res­i­den­tial homes. Th­ese di­lap­i­dated struc­tures tend hurt neigh­bor­hood aes­thet­ics and threaten property val­ues.

Dis­in­vest­ment has the ten­dency to spread be­cause peo­ple who live near blight of­ten lose mo­ti­va­tion to keep up their own prop­er­ties, and many peo­ple try to flee neigh­bor­hoods fea­tur­ing aban­doned prop­er­ties or are re­luc­tant to pur­chase homes in dis­tressed ar­eas, Grauwel­man said.

The home at 211 Fillmore St. in east Day­ton was torn down us­ing fed­eral funds. The Mont­gomery County land bank was awarded an ad­di­tional $500,000 to knock down blighted prop­er­ties in four lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

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