I read with interest a Jan. 13 PolitiFact Ohio analysis that critiqued comments made by Rep. Marcia Fudge on the floor of Congress relative to the foreclosure crisis and its effect on property vacancies.
The distinction between the data analyzed by PolitiFact and that used by Congresswoman Fudge misses the point. The foreclosure and real estate crisis has had a devastating effect on property values and community stability, resulting in huge vacancies. One need only drive up and down streets that 10 years ago were thriving to understand the level of distress.
Whether it is Detroit, Cleveland or Dayton, the point is that the huge cost of removing blight caused by decayed, vacant residential and commercial structures is beyond what municipalities can handle. Thus, while municipalities and organizations such as the Cuyahoga County land bank must act strategically, it is very important that our congressional delegation speak out on the federal level to promote fair and appropriate banking regulation, demolition tax credits and the easing of Environmental Protection Agency restrictions on municipalities. Land banks and cities are addressing the problem at the local level.
Fudge recognizes the role of the federal government-local partnership and is making every effort to keep that at the forefront of the community-development agenda. Her comments on the floor of Congress were appreciated.
Gus Frangos, Cleveland