$5 Million In Budget To Tear Down Abandoned Cleveland homes!
By Hilary Golston, WKYC
Posted April 21st 2017
(PHOTO: COUNCILMAN JEFF JOHNSON)
Tearing down abandoned buildings has become more of a priority since the death of Alianna DeFreeze.
The 14-year-old was found dead inside an abandoned home on the city’s east side.
Cleveland’s more than $600 million general fund budget is likely to pass, sources say.
$5 million would be set aside to tear down abandoned homes.
An additional $1 million for homeowners to get emergency help for repairing their homes is also a budget provision.
The Department of Building and Housing would use the $5 million to demolish homes that have already worked their way through the legal process to condemnation.
The Department of Community development must create a process to administer funds to residents seeking help with home repairs.
Ward 10 Councilman and mayoral candidate, Jeff Johnson, says homeowners would likely apply through development corporations, the Department of Community Development, or through third party organizations like the Cleveland Housing Network.
The figures add up to real progress in Cleveland neighborhoods.
Pam Petty lives on Cleveland’s east-side.
She’s been concerned about abandoned homes on her street for years. “You got to do something,” Petty told WKYC Channel 3′s Hilary Golston. “You’ll have more cases like that young lady.”
The case of DeFreeze’s disappearance and eventual discovery has galvanized the community to act on several issues.
State lawmakers, for example, will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 82, requiring schools to call parents within one hour of the start of the school day, if their child is absent.
The Wednesday debate is indicative of how the tragedy has moved people to action. In the case of tearing down homes in Cleveland, the action could be a reality soon.
“It’s a tragedy that you got to have a tragedy before you act.”