February 26, 2013 [Jeff Piorkowski, cleveland.com]
SOUTH EUCLID — The city continues to make headway as it, like many cities in the area, battles the blight of vacated homes.
It has been announced that just over $400,000 will be spent in South Euclid this year to rehabilitate and resell four homes that are currently vacated and that have gone through the foreclosure process.
Marge Misak, Land Trust Program director for the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, said the Cuyahoga County Land Bank gave the homes to the organization at almost no cost.
The homes are located at 1236 Avondale Road, 3826 Wallingford Road, 4329 Norma Drive and 4114 Wilmington Road.
“We’ll be looking at new roofing, windows, siding if a home needs it, new furnaces, and making a home energy efficient when we’re rehabbing,” Misak said.
The homes were chosen by NHS and the city because of their conditions and their adaptability to the work that will be done.
The funding, administered by NHS comes from Cuyahoga County ($100,000) and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency ($120,000). The OHFA money comes from the federal government and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.
Money made through the sale of the properties will also be used to pay for the upgrades.
Under the guidelines of the Land Trust Program homes are sold to households that fit certain income guidelines. For example, a household of three with total earnings of up to $45,900 per year would be eligible. The minimum income for a household would be $35,000.
Housing Manager Sally Martin said of the Land Trust Program, “It fits a need because it provides another avenue, another option for home ownership. We’re very, very excited to have this in our city.”
Martin said the program further helps the community because of constraints to which a homeowner must agree before purchasing. The homes cannot be used as rental properties and, if sold, must be sold to someone else who meets the guidelines.
“The program assures that these homes will be affordable and maintained and have people living in them in perpetuity,” Martin said.
Misak said the South Euclid is the only city in northeast Ohio to get the funding.
“That’s probably because Mayor (Georgine) Welo and Sally Martin came down to Columbus (in 2012) and spoke about the need for this program, and about the good things they’ve done in South Euclid, such as the Green Neighborhoods Initiative program.”
The Green Neighborhoods Initiative, using federal and First Suburbs Consortium funding, has rehabilitated for resale five previously vacant homes in the city, been responsible for a new home being built at 4088 Linnell Road, and will be responsible for another to be built at 1033 Argonne Road. It also funded the establishment of five community gardens and three small community parks.
Misak said marketing of the four homes will begin in April, before they have been rehabilitated. This will provide, in advance of work, options for the home buyers in terms of what goes into the rehabilitation. The homes are expected to each sell for about $78,000.