Financial predators peddling subprime loans wrecked many Cleveland neighborhoods. It will take more than two decades and $4.5 billion just to demolish unsafe properties, a City Council report says.
Councilman Tony Brancatelli, whose Slavic Village neighborhood is pockmarked with zombie properties, presented those grim calculations to Washington bureaucrats last Monday. Without federal aid, cash-strapped cities like Cleveland will never get out from under the foreclosure fallout.
A smart place for Congress to start would be passage of the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act of 2012, introduced by Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette of Bainbridge Township, and co-sponsored by at least seven members of the Ohio congressional delegation from both parties. The legislation — stuck in committee since March — would provide up to $4 billion in bonds nationwide to cover demolition fees.