Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Data Collection on VBML and Demo's in Cincinnati from 2005-2010

Ok "Preservation Army of Cincinnati". I am collecting data and interviewing people that fit in one of two "classes".

The First 'Class': People who owned property, at least 50 years old, in the City of Cincinnati between 2005-2010 whose property was demoed by the city . This would not be people who had "emergency demos' caused by something like a  fire but rather those whose home, or building, had been through the VBML/condemn process and went to nuisance hearing and demoed.

Specifically, at any time were you advised that about the 1966 Historic Preservation Act, if your property was historic eligible and at any point did you have any conversations, or were made aware by, any person from the Urban Conservator office or city inspections for the City of Cincinnati about whether or not your property was "historic eligible" and was the term "Section 106 review" mentioned , or included, in any paperwork from the city. I also want to hear from those who may have just bought a property or been in the purchase process and the home was destroyed. Or those who know their property was historic or historic eligible and it was demoed anyway.

The Second Class: A much broader class of people from 2005-2010. People who fit the following. You purchased a property either though a foreclosure/sheriff sale, or after a foreclosure proceeding, or through general sale to learn "after the fact" that your property had a VBML or Condemn order against it, who received clear title from a bank with no encumbrances. ESPECIALLY those who obtained a house from FHA,VA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or any Federal Government or "quasi government" agency.

Those who have been denied financing or changed a higher rate because of a VBML order against your property.

Those who found out about the VBML during the purchase process and was unable to complete the process.

Those who own property in the following neighborhoods: Over the Rhine, West End, Lower Price Hill, Price Hill, Fairmount, Knox Hill, Westwood, Avondale,  Walnut Hills, Sedamsville who have had difficulty obtaining refinancing for their homes because of VBML/Condemn property near them and you were told property values were not high enough in your neighborhood , or you suspect you were 'redlined' (denied a loan) because you live in a neighborhood with a high number of VBML/Condemned properties. Also, those who have found their homeowners insurance rise dramatically or were denied homeowners insurance in the above because of the high number of "vacant houses" nearby.

You began a VBML 'waiver process' but could not find liability insurance at an affordable rate.

You lost or "walked away' from a property because of a VBML order, ESPECIALLY anyone who was 'forced' to move out of their home due to a VBML/Condemn order, or were unable to obtain financing to make repairs because of the "legal encumbrance" of the VBML/Condemn order.

Your house is on the demo list, does not have 'structural issues, and you believe your property might be historic eligible.

I also want to hear from Community Councils or community foundation leaders who have dealt with people displaced because of a VBML order, those who are finding it difficult to save property or find buyers because of a VBML , I'd also like to hear from realtors who have had deals fall apart or have first hand knowledge of financing difficulties cause by VBML orders.

I can't say, YET, why these contacts and information are needed but I think many of you are smart enough to read between the lines and figure out the direction this issue is  headed in 2011. Please contact me at

We need to get a 'sense' of the broad impact of the VBML/Condemn orders and Cincinnati Demo policies have on the quality of life in our community. If city policies, like the VBML, have resulted in 'redlining' of economically disadvantaged neighborhood. If denial of housing opportunity is occurring or private property rights, or lending opportunity,or historic preservation, have been damaged by the City of Cincinnati policies. Thank you in advance.

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