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PoliticsOhio: Expert Says Land Banks Can Help Neighborhoods, Governments

Ellen Belcher, who is filling in for Emily McCord, interviews Jim Rokakis, one of Ohio's top experts on the foreclosure crisis and land banks. In Cuyahoga County and elsewhere across the country, communities are creating land banks to take possession of abandoned properties and to demolish the eyesores. Once a property is cleared, the land bank works to redevelop space that previously was a drag on the neighborhood -- and tax rolls. Montgomery County is in the process of creating its own land bank.

About the situation in Dayton, Rokakis recently wrote in The Washington Post, "In Montgomery County, Ohio, where the city of Dayton has been devastated by foreclosure and abandonment, property values have taken a $2 billion hit since 2008, costing local governments and schools more than $40 million annually Rokakis is asking Congress to help fund land banks in especially hard-hit states through bond sales.