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TNP shifts focus to housing renovations

Funding for demolitions ending

WARREN — Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership is making a pivot from primarily focusing on demolitions of properties in the county land bank to renovations.

TNP, a nonprofit, has managed the Trumbull County Land Bank since 20013, and has demolished more than 1,500 “blighted properties” and renovated more than 400 homes, according to its director, Matt Martin.

“While the mission of TNP and the land bank remain the same, the focus of their work is shifting with the needs of the community,” states a news release from the community development organization.

Funding for demolitions primarily came from the Neighborhood Initiative Program, which ends this year. The program funded more than 1,200 TNP residential demolitions since 2014.

“With the end of the demolition funding nearing, TNP believes it has addressed much of the blight that has long plagued our communities and sees the need to pivot its work to address affordable housing and homeownership opportunities,” the news release states.

The COVID-19 pandemic has “deeply impacted the housing market,” according to TNP.

“Since early 2020, the real estate market has seen drastic changes, most of which is found in the lower-than-average inventory of houses in communities across the nation, and Trumbull County is no exception,” the news release states.

Typically, the land bank has 30 to 40 houses available for sale, Landon Kline, the program coordinator of TNP’s Building a Better Warren Program, said.

“This is not currently the case: 200 or fewer houses are actively for sale in the county, and now 15 to 20 are typically available through the land bank at any given time,” Kline said.

Despite low inventories and funding changes, it doesn’t mean the blight remediation work is done, Kline said.

“We are still going to receive foreclosed houses, so we are going to have to continue to handle and keep our inventory at a manageable level,” he said.

To gain better access to prospective buyers, Kline recently acquired a real estate sales license to assist in the sales.

“The land bank can reach new segments of the market, with the goal of getting our fixer-upper properties viewed by new and larger audiences,” Kline said.

TNP has listed properties for sale on its own website, but hopes that expanding the listings to other websites through the Multiple Listing Service — which in turn makes them viewable on websites such as Zillow and Realtor.com — will help the land bank reach more potential buyers and let them know about the programs and properties the organization has available, the news release states.

For more information about the land bank and the available properties, visit www.trumbullcountylandbank.org, www.tnpwarren.org, or call 330-469-6828.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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