Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish had recommended 20 communities for approval in the first round of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Property Demolition Program, which is used to fund the demolition of unsalvageable residential and commercial properties throughout the county. The goal of the program is to strengthen existing communities, accelerate property value growth and restore neighborhoods.
“Addressing vacant and distressed properties is an urgent issue throughout Cuyahoga County,” says Budish. “We are committed to working with communities and housing advocates, side-by-side, to eliminate blight, promote redevelopment and ultimately create stronger neighborhoods.”
The Budish administration identified $14 million, previously allocated for an upgraded data center, to fund the first round of awards. In 2014, the county’s Department of Information Technology planned to pay about $30 million over 25 years for an upgraded data center in the county’s medical examiner’s office. In early 2015, the state of Ohio announced the availability of their data center at a lower estimate of $9.5 million over 25 years. If council approves the new data center, the county will establish a contract with Ohio, saving money on an upgraded data center, as well as freeing up around $14 million in capital funds that can be reallocated to the Property Demolition Program.
“This first round of demolition will remove over 600 blighted, vacant and abandoned structures across the county, providing needed relief to our communities,” says County Council President Dan Brady. “I’d like to thank the County Executive and the County Land Bank for their support in making this program a reality, and I look forward to continuing the momentum that has already begun.”
Budish and Brady say the county is committed to seeing the entire program through, and announced that applications for the next round of funding will be accepted beginning on May 1, 2015.
Twenty-two communities applied to receive funding from the Property Demolition Program. More than $10 million will be awarded to 20 communities to demolish 619 structures. The first round of recommended awards will address about 10 percent of the vacant properties throughout the communities.
The Property Demolition Program, as well as other housing related matters for the county, will be overseen by Ken Surratt. As deputy director of housing, Surratt will be responsible for creating an overarching, comprehensive housing plan for the county and coordinating all housing and foreclosure initiatives.
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