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$1 million in ARPA funds to build affordable housing in Clark County

Marco Verch

An affordable housing project in Clark County will get a jumpstart with some federal funding. The county has received $1 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to start the housing project.

Over the next three years, Clark County hopes to build around 12 homes with the federal money. These homes will be built on land owned by the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation, also known as the Land Bank.

The Land Bank claims land with foreclosed, vacant, or abandoned buildings that have unpaid property taxes. They then demolish the building and “green” the lot, allowing grass to grow and reclaim the lot.

It’s on these properties that affordable housing will be built.

“The Land Bank will take the funds, [and] build on property where we’ve most likely demolished structures that were previously there,” said the Land Bank’s executive director, Ethan Harris. “Then the goal is to sell them at an affordable rate and provide a down payment assistance.”

The goal of these homes are to be affordable and to be marketed to be affordable for first-time homebuyers.

“A family of four that earns approximately $80,000 or less will be eligible to purchase these homes. And then the affordable [part] is that up to $50,000 in down payment assistance can be provided to the individual,” Harris said.

The Land Bank is currently trying to decide which lots are most suitable for affordable homes. Harris said they are looking for parts of the county where the investment will have the biggest impact. They also need to take into consideration available utilities.

Harris said by this time next year, there could be 4 new homes filled with families. That’s an exciting prospect for him. For the first five years of his career at the Land Bank, the job was mostly working to demolish vacant structures.

“So now to actually be able to put stuff back where we had torn [something] down is really exciting,” he said. “That’s the type of work that you want to be doing, right?”

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.