Empty and vacant houses have long been a problem in Cleveland. The city has been trying to demolish some of the crumbling real estate, but crews just can’t keep up with the growing problem.
The state, Cuyahoga County, and city of Cleveland are working together to take as many of the boarded up and abandoned homes down as possible.
The process of tearing down these houses is taking place almost daily. A house on West 93rd Street was torn down Wednesday.
Statewide, $440 million has been raised to demolish abandoned houses. Cleveland has kicked in $68 million, and the county another $50 million.
There are about 5,000 to 6,000 abandoned houses left in Cleveland to be torn down. It costs, on average, $10,000 to take a house down (if there are no complications).
“The city has what is called police power to go in. If a place has been abandoned and is a wreck, they can declare it a nuisance, a hazard, and take it down quickly,” said Jim Rokakis, with the County Land Conservancy. “The more complicated process is the federal money, of which there’s still $30 million available. The land bank has to acquire that property through tax foreclosure. That can take months, sometimes up to a year.”
If a house is merely boarded up and the taxes are paid, that house cannot just be torn down.
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