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Fixing Neighborhood Blight

Fixing Neighborhood Blight

Andrew Samtoy
on Dec 09, 2015

A recent report shows that while 11,000 homes and buildings have been demolished in the last decade in Cleveland, blight remains a persistant problem for some area neighborhoods. What progress has been made when it comes to addressing this issue, and what is the way forward?

http://www.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-ideas/fixing-neighborhood-blight


Conversation Starter

What do YOU think can be done to combat blight? What neighborhoods do you think we should focus on?

Participants (6)

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-24T20:44:22+00:00
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Recent Activity

Mindy Cavin
on Dec 27, 2015
"Like this idea.  "
Mindy Cavin
on Dec 27, 2015
"This is a subject I have been passionate about for a long time. I do not live in Cleveland. I..."
Therese Pohorence
on Dec 10, 2015
"If the City or County would sell them to residents who live there they would be kept in better..."
Therese Pohorence
on Dec 10, 2015
"My idea is this. Allow current resident homeowners to purchase abandoned homes on their street at..."
Laura McShane
on Dec 09, 2015
"wow that was fast - deleted in 2 minutes..."
Joane Johnson
on Dec 09, 2015
"YOu are soooo right.  In the 80's when the mortgage rate ran 12%+, my best friend and her husband..."
Dwight From the west side
on Dec 09, 2015
"What about foresight into this issue.  In Lorain, we got here today because back in the late..."
Joane Johnson
on Dec 09, 2015
"We speak of the blight of abandoned housing, how about the absentee landlord, mostly white, not..."

Andrew Samtoy

Andrew Samtoy - 2017-07-24T20:44:22+00:00 - "A recent report shows that while 11,000 homes and buildings have been demolished in the last..."

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Mindy Cavin
on Dec 27, 2015 - 12:28 pm

This is a subject I have been passionate about for a long time. I do not live in Cleveland. I live in a city of 26,000 about 50 miles south of Cleveland but we had an ever increasing problem of blight near the original core downtown area where the older residential neighborhoods are. This started turning around about 15 years ago..it takes a lot of time and neighborhood involvement. It also takes a lot of courage and committment from the residents. The first thing that had to happen was to develop a relationship with city hall and our city council rep. Home owners in several neighborhoods organized and then got together with other neighborhoods and would show up in force at city council meetings, planning commission meetings, zoning meetings etc. They would also contact city council officials and the Mayors office and the local media when necessary in an organized manner about specific issues. Not just anything and everything but for example, when it was about zoning it was about zoning. You have to focus on one thing at a time. Through this method we first got a community reinvestment area for the residential areas as well as downtown commercial. Then we got special zoning for these areas. No more multi family new construction, no more conversions, and if a multi family sits vacant for 12 months it converts back to single family if it's a conversion. Then the neighborhoods started making the city hold property owners accountable for maintenance. We are at the stage now that the bad landlords are getting out of the area. On many occasions the neighbors have had to have the courage and committment to face down the slumlords at public meetings and it hasn't been pretty, but at the end of the day these are our homes and it's only a get rich quick scheme to the slumlords. In hindsight they didn't stand a chance once the people who live there and are invested dug in for the long haul. We still have a ways to go and it has been an almost 15 year committment so far but looking back it has improved significantly.

 

 
Therese Pohorence
on Dec 10, 2015 - 12:44 am

My idea is this. Allow current resident homeowners to purchase abandoned homes on their street at the bargan basement prices that the landbank is selling them for. These resident homeowners must be current on their mortgages, property taxes, utilities and their current home must be in good repair, up to code. This program would assist these resident owners to do needed repairs and school them in how to be a landlord. This program would not only improve the neighborhoods but would raise the income levels of the citizens.

 

Responses(1)

Mindy Cavin
on Dec 27, 2015

Like this idea.

 

 
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Laura McShane
on Dec 09, 2015 - 8:36 pm
wow that was fast - deleted in 2 minutes... 
Dwight From the west side
on Dec 09, 2015 - 9:35 am
What about foresight into this issue.  In Lorain, we got here today because back in the late 1800's early 1900's, industry moved into the area and replaced agriculture, fishing, and even tourism in later periods. They were SO productive that they imported labor from all over the world and set up an economy and environment that could only be sustained as long as the Auto and Steel industries remained active and prosperous.  The place got overcrowded with people who had nor connection to the land, no roots in the area, and no cares about the water, land, and very air that makes up Northeast Ohio.  Then one day, technology and globalization made it easier for them to move to someplace else in the world.  BUT, the population they imported are still here.  If industry left behind any of its other resources.  It's chemicals, the buildings, the eroded land are all things that a factory must deal with when it shuts down.  What about the labor resources that it brought in and left behind.   For all this talk of trying to "encourage industry" we forget that is a  "devils bargain".  They will fail and when they do, this is just one of the consequences.   
Joane Johnson
on Dec 09, 2015 - 9:33 am

We speak of the blight of abandoned housing, how about the absentee landlord, mostly white, not living in ou neighborhoods and achrging upwards of $2,000/month for a two family.  that's $1,000 each unit.  they put no money into the houses.  Some have falling gutters and I know od one person who has to run an extension cord to get electricity into their dinning room.  The St. Clair area.  there is wonderful renovations being done around Rockefeller Park and the Cultural Gardens but the others are a disgrace.   One owner keeps the houses about two to three years and sells to another like minded miscreant and never put more than a couple of hundred dollars into maintenence like painting, yard work like trees that need trimming, steps falling apart.  Rumor has it he has over 30 units like this in varying disrepair.  What about them?  They do not follow basic guidelines which is why they are not section 8. 

 

Responses(1)

Therese Pohorence
on Dec 10, 2015

If the City or County would sell them to residents who live there they would be kept in better shape. See my idea above.

 
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Cliff Skalba
on Dec 08, 2015 - 5:16 pm
"It`s a Wonderful Life" (1946).. a Christmas classic.. about picking winners and losers.. They got it right.. Bedford Falls vs Potterville... Nice Middle Class vs poverty and squalor..  The Community vs a billionaire.. Why has this choice become so difficult..?? 
Cliff Skalba
on Dec 08, 2015 - 4:34 pm
Unions created the Middle Class in the United States...Union scale wages brought great prosperity to American,especially to the cities... The destruction of labor unions was a political choice... We reap what we sow.. 47% of American workers now earn so little,they owe no Federal Income Tax.. That means folks have to choose what to buy.. Do I buy food,and keep the lights on,or do I pay my Homeowners Insurance premium..?? Too many homes in city`s are bulldozed,because there is no insurance after a fire..It`s enough to break your heart to see America destroyed,from the inside out..One home at a time.. 

Responses(1)

Joane Johnson
on Dec 09, 2015

YOu are soooo right.  In the 80's when the mortgage rate ran 12%+, my best friend and her husband bought their first home.  he worked at FORD and paid that $40,000 home off in no time.  People do not seemto get it  They think we are trying to take from the wealthy when we are only asking for a fair shake.  A friend, out of college in 1971 got her first job at cleveland Trust at $5.50 an hour.  Milk at that time was .99 a gallon and bread 2 loaves for a dollar.  Our oldest daughter worked for NCB before PNC bought them.  They promptly lowered her wage(13 years) by a third.  She now works for the Clinic and she does have a degree.  some banks, now are not paying $10.00/hr.  Milk now costs over $5.00 a galon and bread, depending, around $3.00.  I cannot understand this.  when I got back into the work force in 1986 after the economic downturn of the 80's and my husband's job moved, I was paid $11.50 and housr.  How is it 30 years later people are getting $6.00 an hour?  After the 2008 economic downturn, jobs were lost and when they came back, they paid less with less or no benefits.

 
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