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Local Matters

For the Love of Cleveland: Too Many Houses, Not Enough Homes

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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"Stability isn't just about bricks and mortar." – Christopher Alvarado

Cleveland has been named one of the most affordable housing markets in the country and is often cited as a reason why many former Clevelanders “boomerang” home. Despite its affordability, Cleveland is also plagued by aging and inadequate housing stock, evictions, and foreclosures - all which affect a neighborhood’s ability to attract new residents.

In 2008, Slavic Village gained national attention as the ZIP code hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. A few factors - declining population brought on by a loss of factory and mill jobs, houses in poor or unlivable conditions, and a rise in poverty and crime - all coalesced to bring the neighborhood to near collapse. Since that time, several organizations, including the Slavic Village Recovery Project and Sonny Day Development have responded to the rectify the housing crisis.

According to a report by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy, the Kinsman neighborhood has one of highest rates of abandoned houses in Cleveland. More than 10 percent of the structures in Kinsman earned a "D" or "F" grade, meaning they're deteriorated or unsafe and hazardous. Many are being demolished - and the ones that remain are being fortified from further decay and made more attractive to homebuyers through programs like Third Federal’s Heritage Home Program loans.

Neighborhoods can’t thrive without adequate and affordable housing. How do we preserve our existing housing stock to provide diverse and equitable home options for all Cleveland residents?

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