Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee, Sept. 4, 2019

October 5th, 2019  |  Published in Observer Reports

Request to Appropriate $150,000 for Demolition in Fund 223, Housing Nuisance Abatement Fund (HNAF)

William Hanson, Housing Commissioner, made a request to appropriate $150,000 from the housing reserve to be used for demolition activities. These funds were received by the city as reimbursements from previous demolitions and placed in a nuisance abatement revenue account. While this demolition work was funded through the Cuyahoga County Demo Fund, the county has authorized the city to keep any reimbursed demolition funds provided such funds are used soley for additional demolitions.

There are currently five to seven vacant and abandoned homes under consideration for demolition and this request will ensure funds are available should the determination be made to proceed with demolitions. Of note: the process involved in determining a demolition designation is lengthy.

Vacant and abandoned homes that are blighted negatively impact property values and quality of life in a neighborhood and can become magnets for crime. The city closely monitors vacant properties in an effort to keep them secure and in compliance with the city’s Vacant Property Ordinance. If an owner fails to take action to repair a vacant, abandoned, and blighted house, the city may declare the property a public nuisance and order all structures repaired or demolished. If the owner fails to comply, the city may proceed with demolition. The city may also consider demolition of deteriorated vacant homes acquired through the tax foreclosure process.

There are currently 302 vacant homes in the city, most located in the Moreland and Lomond neighborhoods, and the vast majority are reasonably well maintained. Only a few are showing signs of deterioration. 

The city has received three separate awards for demolition funding through the County Demo Fund since 2012 totaling $2,140,000, and 155 houses and eight commercial buildings have been demolished during this period by the city or the County Land Bank acting on Shaker’s behalf.

The city has applied to the county for an additional $400,000 of demolition funding and anticipates a favorable response to this request although the award has not yet been made.  The county is pivoting away from demolition to rehab for vacant homes, so this is probably going to be the last round of funding for demolition.

The Committee unanimously approved appropriating $150,000 for demolition.

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