Release Date: February 10,2021
Mayor Horrigan Reveals New Online Platform Focused on Increasing Homeownership in Akron
Welcome Home Akron program created in partnership with government software company Tolemi to streamline process of acquiring city-owned land
Akron, Ohio, February 10, 2021 — In a continued attempt to further promote homeownership in Akron, Mayor Dan Horrigan is now rolling out a third property acquisition program in addition to “Mow to Own” and “A Lot for a Little,” called “Welcome Home Akron.” Welcome Home Akron was created in conjunction with Tolemi, a data driven government software company that focuses on housing and economic development strategies. The online tool, found at akronliving.org, makes it simple for residents, builders and developers to easily view City properties for sale and allows anyone to download and complete necessary applications online.
This new program is designed to encourage construction of new residential homes on unused and underutilized city property in its long established neighborhoods — otherwise known as infill development. The goal of the program is to further increase new home construction opportunities while also combatting blight and increasing the vitality and safety of Akron neighborhoods. Currently, the program includes approximately 50 vacant buildable lots selected by the City. All participants that take advantage of the program will be eligible for citywide tax abatement for 15 years.
The online tool, which will cost the City $10,000 per year to maintain, is helpful to both residents and builders looking to build in Akron. Ease of access to city parcel data, combined with an opportunity to easily and efficiently acquire multiple building sites makes this program an instant asset in promoting single family home construction and homeownership. Mayor Horrigan adds, “This new platform will be another valuable tool in revitalizing and further stabilizing Akron neighborhoods. We are simultaneously creating better pathways to homeownership and combatting blight in our neighborhoods. I’m excited to see how this tool empowers those who are thinking about building in the City of Akron to act.”
“We are proud to partner with Mayor Horrigan and the City of Akron to catalyze the redevelopment of City-owned properties,” said Kate Bischoff, Director of Client Services for Tolemi. “Their innovative team harnessed the power of data to identify underutilized lots for infill development, and they are embracing technology to make it easier for residents and builders to engage with the City.”
The Welcome Home Akron program requires that participants start home construction within 3 months of the acquisition of the property and complete construction of housing projects within 12 months. Established homebuilders and developers may purchase no more than four lots at a time. Following completion, developers are to sell the units to owner occupants. Residents building their own home will be required to occupy the property for 5 years. A full list of requirements, including design and character standards, can be found on akronliving.org.
Interested developers/builders may also contact the Office of Integrated Development to discuss potential development plans and inquire about the availability of vacant lots. Frederick Wheat can be reached at 330.375.2133. Interested buyers of a newly constructed home should directly contact the builder/developer or the realtor representing the builder.