Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cincinnati demos while other cities get creative.

Homes up the hill as we can see in this 1930's era photo at Seegar and Baltimore

Cincinnati neighborhoods were once vibrant places. Years of city "blight abatement" or "Blight=bulldozer" urban renewal have been a failure. Urban Planners know it, city leaders know it and most of all the residents of neighborhoods that suffer from it know it, yet we continue to demo.

130 Years of history gone!
So we spend 12,000 to demo this 1880's era home that was on the corner.  What will happen here? Nothing, except the possibility that someone will dump garbage here costing we the taxpayer to clean it up. Will the city cut and maintain this vacant lot? In a word no. Are there developers lined up by the city to build a new house here? That would also be a no. This property in fact won't even be in city control for over 5 years as liens for the demo ( which the property owner will never pay) accrue.


House under stabilization by city of Milwaukee 
While we demo, other cities are taking an opposite, and more positive approach by stabilizing properties and reselling them. The city of Milwaukee is spending funds to stabilize old properties and resell them to owner occupants who agree to restore them .
 
Similar to the house Cincinnati just tore down, This stabilized  Milwaukee home will be sold for 18K
So here is an very similar home to the one our city just demoed EXCEPT Milwaukee painted the outside and is reselling it to a new owner occupant. The city estimates it will cost around 40K to complete. Neighbors in Milwaukee get to look a nice stabilized house and look forward to a new buyer and neighbor.

This property, now sold, has a real positive impact on its community

Milwaukee understands that a completed home,  will positively impact the neighborhood around it. No waiting for a vacant lot to someday be developed.

The answer is simple, we are using the WRONG approach. While the city will spend millions to demo this year it has only 200,000.00 for stabilization according to Ed Cunningham and those monies can only be spend on designated historic houses.

We need to re-evaluate how we are allocating our funding.

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