In the News
We love to share stories of thriving communities in progress.
June 7, 2012
Demolition grant info
is now available
Communities seeking demolition funding from the Ohio Attorney General's Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program can find information here on our Thriving Communities Institute website. Thriving Communities, which helps counties form land banks, hosted the first of two strategic planning workshops June 7 at Walsh University's Barrette Center in North Canton.
April 5, 2012
Ohio's demolition efforts
featured on NPR show
National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" took a look at Ohio's efforts to start the reviatlization of our urban centers by demolishing vacant and abandoned homes. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has authorized $75 million for demolition in the state, and Jim Rokakis of Thriving Communities Insitute are quoted in the piece, which you can access here.
March 28, 2012
Land bank viewed as
a plus for Stark County
The Canton Repository has published an in-depth story on how the fledgling Stark County Land Bank could help neighborhoods in Massillon, Canton and elsewhere by safely securing abandoned homes and vacant lots. Thriving Communities Institute has been working with Stark County officials to establish the land bank. You can read the story here.
March 26, 2012
Jim Rokakis interviewed in Montgomery County
Montgomery County, where the city of Dayton is located, is in the process of creating a land bank with the help of Jim Rokakis and Thriving Communities Institute. Public radio station WYSO, which covers the Miami Valley, interviewed Rokakis about his efforts in Dayton, a city that has been devastated by foreclosure and abandonment. Property values there have taken a $2 billion hit since 2008, costing local governments and schools more than $40 million annually. You can listen to the interview here.
December 27, 2011
Grant to help start Erie County land bank
A $40,000 grant from the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation and two partners – the Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn and Frost-Parker foundations – will be used to establish a county land bank, one designed to return vacant and foreclosed properties to productivity. The grant will help cover the cost of setting up the Erie County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly referred to as a land bank. Jim Rokakis, director of the Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute and a national expert on urban land revitalization, has been working closely with Erie County officials over the past few months to start a land bank.
Anna J. Oertel (pictured), executive director of the Sandusky/Erie County Community Foundation, said the organization is proud to be able to partner with the Dorn and Frost-Parker foundations to establish the land bank.
December 17, 2011
Rokakis will appear on '60 Minutes' segment
Jim Rokakis, director of the Land Conservancy’s Thriving Communities Institute and a nationally recognized expert on the housing foreclosure and vacancy crisis, is scheduled to appear on the Sunday, Dec. 18 episode of “60 Minutes,” which airs locally at 7 p.m. on CBS affiliate WOIO Channel 19 (after the Cleveland Browns-Arizona Cardinals game). Jim was interviewed by “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley for the segment, which is titled, “There Goes the Neighborhood.” The report details how “recession-fueled foreclosures are causing extremely high vacancy rates in some neighborhoods, ruining the values of the occupied homes and forcing the demolitions of once valuable properties.” You can watch a preview of the segment here. This weekend, the Land Conservancy is also launching a new website dedicated to the work of Thriving Communities. Visit the new site at www.thrivingcommunitiesinstitute.org.