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The visual might be comical if it weren’t so sad. Behind the disintegrating front porch roof at 226 E. Lucius Ave., on the front door hangs a sign advising that the property has been winterized.

It’s been two years since Youngstown first started using new laws to take over abandoned properties through a program called spot blight eminent domain. 

A handful of enterprising urban farmers in the city and close environs are reclaiming city lots in some of the city’s most economically-deprived neighborhoods and turning them into small working farms. 

Contributed photo - Home Savings Charitable Foundation recently donated $25,000 to Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Legislation introduced by state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan would target predatory land contracts that often leave would-be home buyers without the rights and protections of holders of traditional mortgages or leases.