(CLEVELAND)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today joined Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and other Cuyahoga County Officials at the demolition of an abandoned house made possible by a grant from his Demolition Grant Program. The property at 6179 Morton Avenue in Cleveland is one of many properties in Ohio which have been demolished through efforts by local communities and the Attorney General’s Demolition Grant Program.
“The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have been proactive leaders in taking back their communities from the rot and blight caused by abandoned houses, and their efforts are being echoed in counties across Ohio,” said Attorney General DeWine.
“The Demolition Grant from Ohio Attorney General DeWine’s Office along with our partnership with the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has provided $8 million to the City of Cleveland for demolition,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson, City of Cleveland. “Since 2006 the city has razed 6300 structures including 66 structures since this program began and we will use all the money from this grant to continue removing unsafe, abandoned structures from Cleveland’s neighborhoods.”
“These Grant Program funds are an important resource in our battle against blight in our communities,” said Gus Frangos, President of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank. “Demolishing homes that are beyond rehabilitation helps make our neighborhoods safer and sets the stage for redevelopment.”
“Most of us have seen first-hand the impact banks’ lending and foreclosure practices have done to many once-vibrant neighborhoods. While we’re deploying a number of strategies to clean up their mess, demolition—unfortunately—is an important and unfunded tool for the county and its cities. The settlement dollars earmarked for demolition is a welcome and needed support for our efforts to improve neighborhoods and lift property values county-wide,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. The County Executive was planning on being at the event and was called away on business that could not be changed.
Attorney General DeWine created the Demolition Grant Program in February. The Demolition Grant Program helps stabilize and improve communities by removing blighted and abandoned homes with funds from the national mortgage settlement reached earlier this year. While an exact total of abandoned homes is not available, conservative estimates place the number of vacant and abandoned properties in Ohio in need of immediate demolition at 100,000.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office made $75 million from the settlement available statewide for demolition grants. In Cuyahoga County, where DeWine attended the demolition today, the county received its full allocation of $11,850,744, the largest in the state. Local matching funds will make the amount available for demolition through the program more than $23 million, which is administered through the Cuyahoga Land Bank..
DeWine will continue to travel to other demolition sites around Ohio to highlight the importance of this program and as other allocations are made in future grant periods.
“By smartly maximizing local resources with funds from the national foreclosure settlement, the Demolition Grant Program can help remedy a significant portion of the damage caused to Ohio neighborhoods and property owners by the foreclosure crisis,” said DeWine.