Student buys CH home through new land bank program

Peter Camba at his new Cleveland Heights home. Photo courtesy Cuyahoga Landbank.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is handing over the keys to the first home sold through its BRAIN (Buying and Retaining Academic Investment Now) program to Cleveland State University (CSU) student Peter Camba.

“Brain gain”—the attraction and retention of young professionals with higher-education degrees—has long been touted as an economic development driver, and affordable housing is one of the factors in retaining young talent. With several well-respected universities in the area and an inventory of vacant homes ready to be renovated and returned to productive use, the Land Bank recognized an opportunity to play a role in retaining talent in Cuyahoga County by connecting students and recent graduates with great, affordable housing. With this goal in mind, it created BRAIN.

BRAIN offers eligible students and recent graduates the chance to purchase a newly renovated home at a discount of 15 percent off the purchase price and an additional 5 percent of the purchase price to be applied to closing costs. To participate in the program, students must be currently enrolled in a college or post-graduate degree program, or submit a BRAIN application within two years of graduation.

With the help of CSU trustees Dan T. Moore and June Taylor, the Land Bank cemented a memorandum of understanding with the university, whereby students have the opportunity to learn about the program and gain valuable information about how to prepare for the purchase of a home.

Through BRAIN, CSU student Camba realized that homeownership was within his reach. Originally from California, Camba likes Greater Cleveland and wants to stay beyond college. He was able to purchase a three bedroom, red brick colonial with a deck and a fireplace in Cleveland Heights at a significant discount.

“I think it’s amazing that there are programs out there like this to help students,” said Camba. “My new place is close to school, University Circle, Little Italy and plenty of retail. I love the location. As soon as I saw it, I thought, this place is perfect.”

“The long-term success of our community is reliant upon the success of the future generation,” said Dennis Roberts, Cuyahoga Land Bank director of programs and property management. “We realized that we have the ability to increase those chances by connecting young graduates with low-cost affordable housing, giving them a jumpstart on building a productive future, and that’s why we decided to create BRAIN.”

“The BRAIN program offers the student who is ready, willing and able an opportunity to purchase a quality home at an excellent price with guaranteed equity,” said Taylor. “This is a win for both the student as well as for the community at large, which will ideally benefit from retaining bright and talented professionals.” 

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Katherine Bulava

Katherine Bulava is president of Hatha Communications. Cuyahoga Land Bank is a client.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:04 AM, 08.10.2015