A new state law aimed at fighting blight goes into effect on Monday. Ohio becomes the first state in the nation to ban plywood on some abandoned and vacant properties.

The bill, signed into law by Governor John Kasich earlier this year, applies to banks filing expedited foreclosures on abandoned and vacant properties. They will no longer be able to board up those structures with plywood.
An alternative material to get the job done is called polycarbonate clearboarding. It’s basically a very strong plastic that looks much like a normal window.

Proponents say the clearboarding helps keep out trespassers, squatters and vandals.
It also just looks better. Ridding structures of broken windows and boards can bring up property values for everyone.

But part of the reason this law only applies to banks is that clearboarding is expensive. It costs more than twice the price of plywood.

This new state law comes as the City of Cleveland recently announced $5 million from the general fund budget to tear down abandoned and blighted structures.