Proposed bill to help fight blight - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Proposed bill to help fight blight

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Proposed bill to help fight blight

If you walk or take a drive through parts of Slavic Village you see boarded up abandoned homes along side others where residents live." This used to be a beautiful neighborhood when I was growing up and now it all went way down," says a former resident who didn't want to be identified.

 The resident moved out of the neighborhood he once called home after he was carjacked at gunpoint last year." They shot in the air and told me to run after they got my car." he explains.

He says he had enough of the violence and blames much of the crime on abandoned homes, not enough people caring about his former community." By there being more abandoned houses it's making it more comfortable for people to commit crimes and do stuff in," he says.

Ohio lawmakers are pushing legislation to create 4-billion dollars worth of tax credit bonds to demolish vacant, abandoned and blight houses "nationwide" and that includes Cleveland. Last year alone the city of Cleveland spent 7-million dollars tearing down thousands of abandoned houses." It quite often frustrates us," says Ed Rybka Cleveland's Director of the Department of Building and Housing.

Rybka says the city does everything it can to track down owners of abandoned properties, but admits playing detective can be tough." We've been aggressively going after those that are owning these properties in bulk, that are owning them, buying them, selling them, flipping them without any intent of improving the properties," explains Rybka.

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