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Kucinich Fights for Program to Mitigate Urban Blight in the Wake of Foreclosure Crisis

Requests Prompt Meeting with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent a letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan asking that he reverse HUD’s recent decision to cut off an agreement with Cuyahoga County’s Land Bank for the disposal of low-valued properties. Congressman Kucinich also requested a meeting with Secretary Donovan to discuss the matter personally.

See a copy of the letter here. Correspondence between HUD and the Land Bank is here and here.

Housing and Urban Development signed an agreement with the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank, to transfer devastated real estate to the Land Bank for reutilization at a cost of $100 per property.  The agreement allowed Cuyahoga County to take significant steps to address urban blight in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.

Yesterday, the Cuyahoga County Land Bank informed Congressman Kucinich at the agreement has been terminated by HUD.

"Greater Cleveland has been Ground Zero in the real estate collapse for several years before the actual collapse of our nation’s banking and economic system in 2008,” said Kucinich in his letter to Secretary Donovan.

Acknowledging that there are reasons to be optimistic about the recovery, Kucinich cautioned the Secretary that local communities “are still in desperate straits with regard to any semblance of control over devastated real estate directly related to past national policies and neglect that resulted in the crisis. . . .  This is absolutely the wrong time to leave these properties to the fate of the market with flippers and speculators who are still only too willing to make money on real estate turnover without adding value that our communities desperately need.

Approximately 850 low-value properties have been transferred to the Land Bank under the terms of the HUD agreement for successful reutilization.

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