Success Story | Campbell Family
The house on Sidney in Camp Washington sat vacant for five years, falling into disrepair. Fortunately, the Camp Washington Community Board acquired it from the Landbank in 2013 to rehab as part of its community plan, and the Campbell family moved into their first home not long after.
First property acquired through Landbank becomes a home again
The house at 3063 Sidney sat vacant since 2008. But in 2013, as part of an ongoing effort to turnaround blighted homes in the community and attract new residents, the Camp Washington Community Board, Inc. (CWCB) acquired the house from Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (LandBank), with plans to clean up, completely renovate, and sell the house. It was the first property that the Landbank transferred since its incorporation in 2012.
In disrepair, the house still retained some original architectural features, like the wrought iron fencing in front that is distinct to the street. The home, built in the 1890s, had been covered in aluminum siding by previous owners.
"It really is exciting to see the transformation of an abandoned, life-less house to one that is cleaned, repaired, and painted with a happy family living inside."
The siding was removed, revealing a pleasant surprise: “When rehabbing old houses, you often find delightful details that were covered up by ugly siding,” said community organizer Joe Gorman. “We discovered a 4-foot metal cornice that is pretty much intact. This finished detail will add a lot to the character of this renovated home.” The CWCB received a PNC Foundation grant for funding to replace the exterior siding.
The CWCB has now renovated and sold more than 50 homes in Camp Washington. The CWCB often lines up a prospective buyer before the home is completed and then the new homeowner can weigh in on the finishes or help with final touches.
The Campbell family is new to Camp Washington, learning about the home from a friend and co-worker. It’s the first home for Matt and Meredith Campbell, and Matt said they already feel welcome, meeting other young families and participating in community “soup nights” in the neighborhood.
The Campbells also worked on some of the home’s renovations themselves, laying hardwood flooring and selecting the paint colors both interior and exterior.
Since 1975, the community board has invested nearly $8 million in saving, constructing new, and renovating single-family houses and apartment buildings in Camp Washington. “The Land Bank is a great tool for local community development corporations to revitalize their neighborhoods,” said Paul Rudemiller, CWCB founder and executive director. “We have a few problematic properties we intend to acquire through the Land Bank. It is our goal to attract young families to live and invest as Camp Washington homeowners, and the Land Bank will be an important partner in fulfilling this goal,” said Rudemiller.
In line with its mission to return vacant properties to productive use, the Landbank works with communities and neighborhoods across the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to help improve quality of life and increase property values, though blight and nuisance abatement, stabilization, and revitalization.
The Camp Washington Community Board is a member of the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati (CDCAGC), which includes CDCs in several Cincinnati neighborhoods that work with the Landbank. Financial support for the Community Board comes from house rentals and sales, Mad Max Bingo, City of Cincinnati Community Development, CDCAGC, grants, and the Camp Washington Business Association golf outings. For more information, http://www.camp-washington.org/community-board/.