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Preserving the Future

December 21, 2020 Projects

What keeps a property from becoming vacant or abandoned?

It's an important question for every land bank, but one without an easy answer. Every property, especially an older one, needs ongoing maintenance to stay livable. It might also need improvements to keep it relevant to today's needs. But if too much deferred maintenance or obsolescence piles up, it's more and more likely that the owner will one day be forced to walk away.

Although the Land Bank's primary focus is vacant or abandoned properties, our mission is to strengthen neighborhoods. Neighborhoods will not stay strong and owners cannot be secure unless there are resources and support to help them - proactively and before things get bad.

Enter the Home Preservation Initiative. By using our in-house expertise, the Land Bank offers a free home visit that provides the rarest of technical assistance: assistance without anyone trying to sell you something! Even better, our partnerships with local lenders allow a qualifying owner to access low-interest loans and make key improvements or repairs to their property.

With initial guidance and assistance from the Cleveland Restoration Society, the Home Preservation Initiative has helped almost 1,000 owners throughout Lucas County. One of our first projects was with Kristen and Nick Doing, who lived in the Westmoreland neighborhood in Toledo until a recent move.

In a neighborhood filled with impressive houses, their home, built in 1928, doesn't disappoint. But like any older home, some of its rooms were dated and some of its features needed updating. By accessing a Home Preservation Initiative loan - not once, but twice! - the Doings were able to completely modernize their kitchen and make other impressive changes to the home.

"Every time we needed it, the Land Bank was there to offer expert advice and support. We are so grateful for the Land Bank's involvement in the improvement and restoration of our beautiful home," said Kristen Doing in a recent visit. "We could not have done it without the Land Bank!"

Whether your home is historic or not, the Home Preservation Initiative is there to support you. Although the work is harder during winter and the Initiative slows down a bit, feel free to contact our Initiative Director, Kathleen Kovacs, to learn more.