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Making a Home

July 27, 2020 Projects

This story is the first in a series as we Countdown to 1500 and showcase some of the great people who are working with the Land Bank to transform their lives and their neighborhoods.

The house had seen better days, but Anneta and William knew it would be home.

After coming to America, Anneta and her husband, William, wanted a home of their own. "We were aspiring to do this for a long time," they said in a recent interview on their front porch. Happily for them, the Land Bank provided the perfect opportunity.

The house on South Avenue in the Old South End was built in 1902, and its stately elegance rising above the street is obvious to anyone who walks or rides by. But, disinvestment in the property had weakened its charms over time. Ultimately, a bank foreclosure brought it to the Land Bank through a Fannie Mae donation in 2018.

Because it had "good bones," the Land Bank team knew that it would attract buyers committed to renovating it. So it began marketing the property for sale, and that's how the team found Anneta and William.

Even better, through a program of Toledo LISC (supported by Key Bank and ProMedica), a $30,000 grant was available to the Land Bank to make key improvements to the property. The Land Bank team leveraged that grant and its own funds to make code-compliant investments in the heating, electrical and plumbing with local contractors, and installed insulation and air conditioning in the house for the first time. Project leads Shantae Brownlee and Stuart Cline worked diligently to get these basics done right.

From there, Anneta and William took over. They worked tirelessly to update the kitchen, bath, and living rooms. "It was a long process and it was a challenge, but we got through it," they said.

In the meantime, the Land Bank eliminated additional nuisances on the block. It demolished the vacant, blighted home next door and created a new side yard space, complete with a classic fence, next to South property. Anneta and William planted rose bushes, and soon they will own that land too.

This June, Anneta and William took ownership after this steady transformation. "The best part was when we knew for sure we were going to get it. I think when everything is finished and we went to sign that last piece of paper, you know that this is it."

According to Anneta, "We are so happy to have this house. We look forward to relaxing and enjoying our home, this land, and planting beautiful flowers."

This opportunity to make a home with the Land Bank has left them beyond satisfied.

"Keep up this good work," they said, "and help people who are in need of homes!"