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 City of Columbus in partnership with the Franklin County Land Bank - Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC) - was awarded an additional $12 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 2019.
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 5,300 vacant and abandoned structures in Columbus.
The City and COCIC will invest over $12 million over the next three years to continue the momentum to demolish vacant and abandoned properties in Columbus. Properties commonly identified for removal are those in poor condition acquired by the land banks through property tax foreclosure or donation. Other demolitions may occur by an order from the Franklin County Environmental Court or from an unsafe order from the 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 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. 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 submit an address for consideration by the VAP team please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please Note: This email is for referrals only; senders should not anticipate a response. For questions about demolitions under the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Initiative, please contact Seth Brehm at email@example.com.
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.
Assistance for Rehabilitation, New Construction and Rental Properties:
Vacant Properties Rehabilitation Program:
The Vacant Properties Redevelopment (VPR) Program is designed to foster homeownership and return neglected properties to productive use within the City of Columbus. The program provides development gap financing up to $40,000 per unit in the form of a forgivable loan. This provides an incentive for developers and/or builders to rehabilitate or construct houses for income qualified homebuyers to be able to afford homes in established portions of the City. The City receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to conduct activities that are in compliance with the HOME Investment Partnerships Program with regulations at 24 CFR Part 92. Contact Randi Arnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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