Land Bank Sees End of ‘Beyond-Repair’ Housing

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Land Bank expects to create a major impact in 2022 through its efforts to demolish abandoned properties and restore and revitalize neighborhoods.

The nonprofit community improvement corporation secured $500,000 in state funds to demolish around 40 abandoned houses, expected to start in early 2022, and could raze more than 800 abandoned houses if matching dollars are secured.

“The end of Youngstown’s beyond-repair abandoned housing is in sight,” says Debora Flora, executive director of the Land Bank. “With state funding support, the city will be able to shift its focus to housing renovations to make affordable housing more available.”

The Land Bank continued its efforts to create vibrant green spaces with the launch of Operation Pollination in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Youngstown and other partners. Operation Pollination is an initiative to cultivate vital pollinator habitats, simplify property maintenance and promote positive health outcomes at several sites across Mahoning County.

In the same regard, the Land Bank celebrated the 10th anniversary of its establishment in 2021 with the release of a greening guide titled “Greening Practices for Native Ecosystems,” to encourage the development of green spaces with native plants and trees.

The greening guide, written by former Youngstown State University faculty member Danielle Lewis, details the selection, placement, layout and management of 92 species of trees, shrubs and smaller plants to put unproductive land to better use.

In honor of its 10-year anniversary, the Land Bank released the “Community Partner Spotlight” video series that featured 10 video spotlights focused on the successful reuse of vacant and abandoned land during the organization’s first 10 years.

“As we continue to focus our efforts on the revitalization of local vacant, abandoned properties, we envision an abundance of successful stories over the next 10 years,” says Flora.