The little house that could: Northsiders engage with Landbank

Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation work with Landbank to acquire home for rehab

Over a period of 15 years, the “little brown house” as Stefanie Sunderland calls it, “bounced back and forth between ownership, occupancy, vacancy, and three foreclosures. At one point the weeds, shrubbery and trees were so overgrown it was difficult to notice a house was even there.”  Sunderland, Executive Director for NEST – Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation (formerly CNCURC) was describing the house at 1726 Hanfield St. in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Northside. The group was diligent in reporting complaints on the site, year after year. Fortunately, their persistence was fruitful.

In 2013, as the Hanfield property went through the County’s tax foreclosure sale, the Hamilton County Landbank successfully petitioned for it at the request of NEST/ CNCURC, rather than have it forfeited to the State. “As one of our established community partners, NEST/ CNCURC then acquired it from the Landbank in August 2013 and they have been hard at work rehabbing the property ever since,” said Billy Weber, associate counsel for the Port Authority.

When acquired through the Landbank, it had been stripped of copper, and suffered from years of neglect, leaks ruining the frame, the yard a jungle of weeds.

Major redevelopment work began in early 2015 which included relocating a bathroom and kitchen, a new multi-room addition to the back, while maintaining some characteristics of the 94-year old home per historic guidelines. And just as renovation was underway, the home went under contract for sale in January with a closing date set for mid-May.

NEST/ CNCURC recently hosted an open house to show the progress on 1726 Hanfield, and another nearby rehabbed home at 4118 Lakeman. Kate Bridgman, a realtor with Comey & Shepherd and a NEST/CNCURC board member, noted that these efforts are having a positive impact on the market. “The more homes that NEST/ CNCURC can work to acquire, rehabilitate and make affordable to owner-occupants, the better it is for the neighborhood, and for current owners in Northside.”

Read more about the work of NEST/CNCURC at