As a target area in Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI), the Clark-Fulton community will continue seeing added revitalization. The Jackson administration and community stakeholders recently selected the area as the recipient of federal funds for affordable housing through the State’s FHAct50 program. Cleveland– along with Columbus and Cincinnati – is one of three Ohio cities to receive $3 million in tax credits over a three year period. The increased tax credits will help further the creation of diverse and accessible communities in the designated cities.
“FHAct50 will help the Clark-Fulton neighborhood attract financially sound investments that benefit residents and promote broader economic growth throughout the City,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We will work with residents and businesses during this process to create an even more equitable neighborhood that promotes affordability and contributes to revitalization.”
As part of the FHAct50 selection process, the City’s Community Development department issued an RFP in November 2018 to help select a target area. The City received seven proposals, four of which were invited to interview with a diverse team of City and community stakeholders.
The city selected the Clark-Fulton neighborhood based on a proposal submitted by Metro West Community Development Organization and The MetroHealth System. The proposal included multiple strengths such as housing rehab programs, mixed-income development and robust community health and wellness programming.
The area is part of the NTI and surrounded by market rate neighborhoods. The variety of project sizes and scopes also allows for several potential developments. Smaller buildings can be rehabilitated for affordable housing with commercial spaces that can help catalyze development reminiscent of the commercial/affordable housing rehabs that helped grow West 65th Street and Detroit Avenue.
The neighborhood is also anchored by MetroHealth which will act a strong community and development partner. The FHAct50 affordable housing projects will complement workforce and market rate housing initiatives planned as part of MetroHealth’s campus transformation.
“MetroHealth is part of the fabric of this community and our Transformation includes the revitalization of West 25th Street and its surrounding neighborhood. We are proud to partner with Metro West to have the Clark-Fulton area be selected for this affordable housing initiative. These tax credits can be a catalyst to spur economic development for our neighborhood,” said Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE, president and CEO of MetroHealth. “We’re committed to supporting our patients and the community so they can live their best lives, and that includes having a vibrant area to live in.”
The Clark-Fulton RFP submission team is currently working with the City of Cleveland and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to complete its target area plan to ensure that the FHAct50 projects meet the needs of residents and integrate with the neighborhood.
“With the Clark-Fulton community on the cusp of change and with significant investment underway, Metro West is focused on ensuring developments are for the benefit of all members of the community,” said Managing Director of Metro West Community Development Organization Ricardo Leon. “The FHAct50 Building Opportunity Fund will advance Metro West and our partners’ efforts in creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable neighborhood. Thanks to Councilwoman Santana’s diligent work, MetroHealth’s steadfast support, and the City of Cleveland’s longstanding investment in our community we have the opportunity to create a mixed-income neighborhood that offers opportunities to residents from all walks of life.”
The target area plan is the first step in a broader neighborhood planning initiative that Metro West MetroHealth, Councilwoman Santana’s office, The Cleveland Foundation and the City of Cleveland will be kicking off with residents to plan for the long term health of the Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Center and Stockyard communities.
In addition, an RFP was released in April 2019 for the first round of development in the area. Projects will be selected with community input and could break ground as early as spring 2020.
“As a longtime resident and the new Cleveland City Council representative for Ward 14, I am beyond excited that the Clark-Fulton neighborhood was chosen to receive the state’s FAHct50 funding,” said Councilwoman Jasmin Santana. “The timing is right for the program because it aligns with the Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative as well as MetroHealth Medical Center’s $1 billion transformation.”
Through the NTI, the Jackson administration is working to ensure that everyone has a part in Cleveland’s growth. Initial efforts are concentrated in neighborhoods that were chosen based on a Cleveland Planning Commission study. The selected areas are in proximity to large, anchor institutions that are interested and committed to transforming the neighborhoods they are located in, as well as provide job opportunities to their residents.
“It’s important to me that we develop a community that is inclusive, provides affordable housing and that the residents are engaged throughout the process. I want to ensure their voice and vision of community is reflected in the development plans for the neighborhood. Currently my office is collaborating with all the stakeholders as well as the residents to create a shared vision and a plan that will reflect the neighborhoods needs and be equitable for all,” said Councilwoman Santana.