Mayor Jackson announced at a press conference today a comprehensive strategy to demolish blighted and abandoned homes in the City of Cleveland. The plan is part of the mayor’s Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, a series of legislation and programs focused on improving the quality of City neighborhoods. Read supporting documents.
“The demolition of these homes is a direct result of Issue 32 and I want to thank Clevelanders once again,” said Mayor Jackson. “When I launched the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, I promised to stop decline, stabilize our neighborhoods and provide growth for our future – this is the next phase of that effort.”
The City’s demolition strategy follows identified ‘safe routes to school,’ with the intent of demolishing more than 500 structures along the routes by the end of 2017. The routes are near Cleveland Metropolitan Schools and the condemned structures are within 500 feet of the ‘safe routes.’ Thanks to the passage of Issue 32, the City has allotted $5 million from the General Fund to demolish the various structures.
The ‘safe routes’ are identified as part of the Safe Routes to School program, which helps Cleveland Municipal School District students in grades K-8 safely walk or bike to school. The Jackson administration has been engaged in the Safe Routes program since 2006. It expanded in 2014 when the City Planning Commission received a Safe Routes Grant to initiate a districtwide program.
While Safe Routes to School is a national program, the Cleveland model is distinct. It specifically addresses the issues children face in urban environments that threaten their health, safety and welfare.
The demolition of vacant, blighted properties has been a priority for the administration since 2006. During the past eleven years the city has completed nearly 9,000 demolitions and expended nearly $70 million to eliminate blight by razing vacant, nuisance, and abandoned structures.
These demolition efforts align with the recently announced Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI), a massive $25 million fund focused on neighborhood revitalization efforts. While the City is demolishing structures, it is concurrently working with several large financial institutions to support new construction and rehabilitation of homes, as well as down payment assistance programs for prospective homeowners.
Watch the full press conference below: