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Vacant Land Problem Solved

I saw an interesting approach to vacant, overgrown land yesterday on the news. It was even more impressive in that the idea was put forth and then enacted by a local government. As most of us know, one side effect of the housing debacle is foreclosures resulting in vacant houses and vacant lots. More jurisdictions, especially in the north where some cities have declining populations, are taking over severely neglected foreclosed properties.  Well, this jurisdiction, Sandusky, Ohio (home to the absolutely awesome Cedar Point! rollercoasters, anyone?), has ratcheted this up a notch and added a homesteading provision.

It works like this: You own a house next to a vacant, neglected property that has been that way for a while. The city takes the property over due to unpaid taxes, or several other reasons. You notify the city that you will mow the lawn and maintain upkeep on the property. Then you follow through for the next two years. Fast forward two years…The property is now yours! This is a win-win for the city and the residents. Residents in nice neighborhoods often take turns mowing the lawn of a vacant property because they don’t like the way it looks nor do they like the negative impact it has on their property values. Of course they complain the whole time. (I’ve been there. Mowing is a sweaty job and the owners never say thanks!) Now, residents can truly reap the benefits of their goodwill. And the city can put property back in play and begin receiving property tax revenue again much sooner.

Like I say, often the problem provides the solution. Here, there were issues on both sides of the vacant land problem. By looking at both sides, the city created a novel program that addresses both stakeholders’ issues by offsetting their problems against the other. Problems can and often are the source for inspiration. I’m interested in hearing yours.


About Tiffany C. Wright

Hi! I,Tiffany C. Wright, am the author of the ebook, "Help! I Need Money for My Business Now!!" and the book "Solving the Capital Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses", available on Amazon. I am the president of Toca Family Business Services, a short-term & project-based interim management & strategic and financial advisory firm, located in Atlanta, Georgia. In the past five years I've helped small and medium companies restructure and obtain over $31 Million in financing and a similar amount in purchase orders and contracts. I have an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University. Personal: I enjoy investing. I am a prodigious reader of everything from business books, magazines, and newspapers to horror and popular fiction. I read 4-6 books per month. I also love to travel. I've been to 33 countries on 5 continents and lived in Japan for 2.5 years and aim for a foreign locale twice a year. I am also an athlete and run track on the Master's Circuit. The highlight was placing 7th in my age group in the 2007 World Master's Track and Field Championships in Italy.


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The Resourceful CEO, Tiffany C. Wright

the president of Toca Family Business Services, a strategic and financial advisory firm which provides short-term & project-based C-level management. She is the author of Solving the Financial Equation: Financing Solutions for Small Businesses, available on Amazon.

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