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Bank of America deal could boost landbanks in Ohio, but not meet the needs
The deal also improvements over its predecessors in another key concern for Ohio: demolition

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
The Kinsman area of Cleveland is one of hundreds of neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio devastated by the housing crisis.
Courtesy of Thriving Communities Institute
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In The Region:

A tiny fraction of the nearly $17 billion settlement Bank of America has reached will go to land banks – the nonprofits and quasi-governmental entities set up to buy vacant properties and get them back into use. 

One of the most active landbanks in Ohio is the Thriving Communities Institute. The institute’s Frank Ford acknowledges the $50 million in the Bank of America deal is twice that of the Citibank settlement of a month ago.

LISTEN: Ford on land bank needs

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“But when you look at the damage that’s been done to Ohio’s housing market and you multiply it by the number of vacant and abandoned homes, unfortunately, we could take the whole $75 million and could easily use it in the state of Ohio. And yet, there’s also Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, New York and states all over this country that have been hurt by this crisis.” 

Ford says the Bank of America deal is an improvement in the Citibank deal and the Chase deal before it in areas ranging from foreclosure prevention to money for demolition and renovation.

The deal calls for Bank of America to pay more $9.6 billion in a cash penalty and give homeowners and blighted neighborhoods relief to the tune of about $7 billion.

The bank closed its operations in Beachwood and Independence a year ago, laying off more than 1,000 people. 

Here are some more of Ford's thoughts on the Bank of America settlement.

LISTEN: Ford says the deal gives BoA credit for services begun:
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LISTEN: Limited funds mean communities pick demolition over renovation even if they'd rather not:
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