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Frequently Asked Questions


After the passage of State enabling legislation, (S.B. 353, 127th General Assembly) the Franklin County Commissioners authorized the incorporation of the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC) as a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, support community goals, and to improve the quality of life for County residents.

Unlike Land Bank’s that are programs within local governments, COCIC is a County Land Bank, but administered by a separate nonprofit corporation with its own source of funding. While many city Land Bank’s will not acquire property with buildings, COCIC may, after proper assessment, and based on funding capabilities, acquire these properties. COCIC was designed by the Ohio legislature to operate efficiently and more like private enterprise, but pursuant to a public mission. Additionally, with tax foreclosure reform, County Land Bank’s are able to take low asset properties off the market and prevent a downward spiral of speculation and deterioration. Finally, County Land Bank’s have a reliable revenue stream that is identifiable, which allows Land Bank’s to plan ahead and act strategically.

The main sources of properties obtained by COCIC are tax foreclosures, Environmental Court, Nuisance Abatement (505.86 Enforcement Actions), State Forfeited Lands, Donated Properties, Lender Foreclosures, and Special Projects.

COCIC has a several sources that fund its mission. At the most basic level, the COCIC will receive annually a certain portion of the penalties and interest that accrue on delinquent property taxes. To be entitled to receive this base level funding, the Franklin County Treasurer (the Treasurer) must make early advances of these delinquent taxes to the taxing districts from his daily balances to the various cities, schools and special taxing districts in Franklin County. To the extent penalties and interest from delinquent taxes are used to fund COCIC, no direct or primary tax dollars are used. While the County is not prohibited from supporting COCIC, it does not do so out of its general funds nor is the County liable for the obligations of COCIC. Legally, COCIC is a separate and distinct entity from the County government.

COCIC is also authorized to receive tax foreclosed properties, most of them having negative equity, along with others having positive equity. Positive equity properties will be stabilized and resold where possible, the proceeds from which will be used to fund the continued mission of COCIC, i.e., demolition, stabilization and rehabilitation of substandard properties. Additional outside sources of funding include, but are not limited to, gifts, grants and loans, including the issuance of its bonds.

COCIC often collaborates with outside agencies and governments.

COCIC is governed by a Board of Directors. Ohio law requires a minimum of five Directors including the county treasurer, at least two of the members of the board of county commissioners, one representative of the largest municipal corporation, and one representative of a township with a population of at least ten thousand in the unincorporated area of the township. At least one board member shall have private sector or nonprofit experience in rehabilitation or real estate acquisitions.

COCIC's Code of Regulations requires the Board of Directors to convene a regular meeting at least once every calendar quarter and to convene an annual meeting in May in each year or during such other month determined by the directors. Currently, Board of Directors meetings are held at Livingston United Methodist Church, 200 E. Livingston Avenue.

Have a question about COCIC not answered here?

Property Questions

Once COCIC acquires properties, which it assesses - after vacancy has been confirmed - in order to determine whether the property can be renovated or must be demolished. Assessments consider electrical, plumbing, HVAC, the roof and the foundation. A property marked for demolition undergoes and asbestos survey and any necessary remediation prior to demolition. Research has shown that the removal of blighted properties is having a positive impact on the surrounding community, increasing safety and property values. Additionally, partnerships with end users and institutions (churches, hospitals, private developments, etc.) have been forged to foster alternative reuses of once distress properties.
Although the bulk of the problems arising from the foreclosure crisis arise in the City of Columbus and inner suburbs of Franklin County, COCIC is authorized to service all of Franklin County commensurate with funding and priority of need.
COCIC takes many, but not all, vacant and abandoned tax foreclosed properties that do not contain unwarranted environmental risks. COCIC determines what mortgage foreclosed properties it will acquire based on consideration of available funding, carrying expense, demolition cost, environmental risk, and strategic factors in cooperation with Franklin County municipalities.
Please visit the Franklin County Auditor's Real Estate Information System. After searching for a particular property, if the owner is the "Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation" then the Landbank is the owner of the property.

About Programs

COCIC has a publicly available Website on which periodic updates on programmatic operations are posted, along with information on the scheduled Board meetings. The Web site can direct readers to COCIC forms and programs as well.

Purchasing Questions

Please complete and return our Vacant/Side Lot Application. After review by the Landbank, you will be notified if the property is eligible for demolition and then sale through our existing programs.
Please complete and return our Vacant/Side Lot Application. After review by the Landbank, you will be notified if the property is eligible for sale through our existing programs.
While we're always ready to help, the City of Columbus operates its own Landbank. To purchase a property owned by the City of Columbus, click here.

For Contractors

The Landbank is always interested in building new relationships with vendors. Please complete and return our Contractor Pre-Qualification Form. If the Landbank is in need of your services, you will be contacted by a Landbank staff member regarding next steps.

General Questions

Please call the Landbank's office at (614) 525-4937 during normal business hours. We'll be happy to answer your questions!