February 11, 2014 [WEWS]
CLEVELAND – A study released to Cleveland City Council on Tuesday finds that demolition leads to reduced foreclosures, stabilizes real estate values and lessens tax delinquencies.
Cleveland needs $83 million to demolish another 8,300 houses identified as distressed properties. Since 2006 the city has demolished thousands of abandoned houses.
Several of those homes have been on Morton Avenue, in the Broadway Union neighborhood of Cleveland.
Neighbors said getting rid of the abandoned houses has made their neighborhood a better place to live. “The less vacant houses around here the safer, ” said Ken Shefton.
Shefton feels passionately about tearing down the empty houses because the blight has touched him personally. His sister was murdered.
“She was killed in an empty house and drug out to a field,” said Shefton.
On East 72nd Street, there is more vacant property than houses. But there is also a sign of things to come.
Addresses on pieces of wood where abandoned houses once stood and new homes will be built are popping up.
Just one street over, on East 71st Street, new homes are up and ready to be sold. “Good is happening,” said Gus Frangos with the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. The Land Bank Frangos said has rehabbed close to 800 homes since it opened its doors in 2009.
The study released to council Tuesday also recommended state and county bonds to meet the funding need for demolitions.