Land bank gets federal grant

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Ohio Housing Finance Agency recently announced that the Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation (commonly known as the Shelby County Land Bank) has been awarded up to $2.5 million in federal Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) funding.

NIP funds will be received on a reimbursement basis for the purpose of acquiring and demolishing vacant and blighted residential housing in designated neighborhoods in Shelby County.

Parcels with razed structures will be leveled and greened prior to disposition. Typical recipients of the properties are adjacent neighbors under a “side lot” program, local governments for public purposes, nonprofit organizations, and various private persons or entities.

According to Land Bank Chairman Bob Guillozet, the Land Bank expects to be very active in completing projects, starting immediately and continuing through the 2019 calendar year, when the NIP funding availability expires.

The Land Bank has limited funding exclusive of the NIP funds, which will allow for completing some projects not eligible to be funded by the NIP grant due to neighborhood restrictions imposed under NIP rules.

Local residents are encouraged to contact the Land Bank at 498-7253 or email with questions or to report properties that are vacant and in a state of poor repair. Officials are also soliciting contacts for citizens who may be interested in taking ownership of properties which are likely targets of this program.

York has announced that he intends to end his interim contract with the Shelby County Land Bank as of Dec. 31. His original assignment was to prepare the application for the NIP grant and to organize a listing of potential vacant properties. Those duties have been completed successfully.

The Land Bank Board is seeking a person to oversee the organization. This is expected to be a flexible, part-time assignment with hours likely to fluctuate in the range of 15 to 30 hours per week over the next three years.

Interested individuals should contact the Land Bank at the phone number or email above before Nov. 23.

Staff report