East Cleveland blighted properties get new lease on land

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East Cleveland blighted properties get new lease on land

June 7, 2012 [WKYC]

Abandoned and foreclosed homes are on nearly every street in Cleveland and East Cleveland. But today, Cuyahoga County announced a multi-million dollar project to turn those properties into new construction.

“I’ve lived here 35 years,” says Lila Eskridge standing outside her home.

She remembers an East Cleveland street filled with families. Now, there’s hardly anyone who lives here at all.

“We’ve had a lot of houses torn down,” she said. “They were falling down and animals were living in it, possums and raccoons.”

But at the end of her street is the light of hope. Something rarely seen in East Cleveland in the past few decades: construction crews building new homes where blighted buildings used to stand.

“These properties are not going to be repaired. They’re beyond repair,” says Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason.

His office is pledging $5 million dollars to tear down deteriorated properties. The Cuyahoga Land Bank promised an additional $6.8 million and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is handing over $11.8 for projects like these, not only East Cleveland – but in suburbs across the county.

Other suburbs have been asked to submit a demolition and new project idea. The city that submits the best idea will be eligible for $2 million dollars toward that project.