VACANT AND ABANDONED PROPERTIES
On February 23, 2012 Mayor Coleman and various elected officials and community leaders announced the creation of a new Initiative that targeted addressing the blight and nuisances that are created by vacant structures throughout the city. Phase One of what would become the Vacant and Abandoned Property Initiative (VAP) was an $18 million investment made by the City through Capital Improvement Funds, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office’s Moving Ohio Forward grant and the Ohio Housing and Finance Agency’s Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) grant. On December 8, 2015, the City reached the Mayor’s goal and demolished its 900th vacant structure within four years.
In the summer of 2016, the Franklin County Land Bank aka the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), in partnership with the City of Columbus, was awarded up to $20 million in demolition funds from the NIP grant. Along with additional Capital Improvement Funds from the City, the combined Land Banks are dedicated to a second phase of the VAP initiative to continue through 2020.
Elements of the initiative include:
The Vacant and Abandoned Property steering committee consists of representatives from the City Attorney's Office, Department of Development, the Department of Building and Zoning Services, in addition to representatives from Franklin County who meet regularly to focus on the enforcement and management of the 4,000 vacant and abandoned structures in Columbus.
The City and COCIC have invested almost $20 million from 2016-2020 to demolish vacant and abandoned properties in Columbus and Central Ohio. Properties commonly identified for removal are those in poor condition acquired by the land banks through property tax foreclosure, forfeiture, or donation. Other demolitions may occur by an order from the Franklin County Environmental Court or from an emergency order from the City of Columbus Building Department. These properties have been identified as a hazard to the health, safety, and welfare of neighborhoods.
Not only is there the demolition of properties, the City created programs that offer assistance to neighborhoods to restore homes as well as lots where vacant and abandoned homes once stood. Homeowners and rental property owners are provided assistance in vacant property prevention. Development organizations are provided with funding to address vacant property rehabilitation. A land care and garden program enlisting neighborhood groups to take care of vacant parcels was developed, too.
Of the 900 structures removed under Phase One of VAP, 145 of them have been resold to a neighbor and 110 have been resold to developers as of 2016. Additionally from 2012 to 2015, the City Land Bank was able to preserve over 300 previously vacant and abandoned structures by selling them for renovation.
REPORT A NUISANCE PROPERTY:
To report a nuisance property, please know the address of the property first, then click the link to use the City's Service Center or call 614-645-3111. The reports will be directed to Code Enforcement or the Land Bank who will then inspect the property to determine if it is a new issue or has existing compliance orders.
Assistance for Homeowners:
Vacant Property Prevention Program:
The mission of the Vacant Property Prevention Program is to assist individuals and families to remain in their homes and live independently in a safe and sound environment. Please call the Intake Line at 614-645-8526 to be placed on the waiting list, callers will be notified when funding is available
Assistance for Rehabilitation, New Construction and Rental Properties:
Vacant Properties Rehabilitation Program:
The Vacant Properties Redevelopment (VPR) Program is to redevelop residential homes and residential properties either for sale as home ownership opportunities or for short term lease purchase (up to 36 months). The program provides development and affordability gap financing based on need but not to exceed a total of $60,000.00. The funding is provided in the form of a grant. Please call 614-645-7896.
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