Wednesday, February 27, 2013

$2.7 million ODOT Bridge Replacement of I-71 overpass at W. 25th St./Pearl Road & $7 million Denison Ave. Project announced

Two new infrastructure projects have recently been announced for the Brooklyn Centre, Clark Fulton and Stockyard areas.  The two projects will represent almost $10 million worth of improvements.

Total infrastructure investment in recent years - $66.4 million.

(in $Millions)

$7.0  Denison Avenue, Ridge Road to SR-176 (2013-14)
$2.7  I-71 Bridge overpass at W. 25th/Pearl Road (2013)
$5.3  Fulton Road (2012)
$3.3  MetroHealth Blvd entrance to Hospital (2012)
$0.1  Scranton Road resurface through Hospital area (2012)
$18.4  TOTAL, 3-year period


$48.0  NEW Fulton Road Bridge (2007-2010)
$66.4  TOTAL, 7-year period

I-71 Bridge Overpass

ODOT is set to begin work to replace the I-71 overpass bridge at W. 25th St/Pearl Road.  The work is scheduled to begin next Monday, March 4th with final completion scheduled for  June 2014.  See the details including partial lane and interstate ramp closings below.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How do Cleveland’s community development organizations rank nationally?

Excerpts from a study and ranking of 23 cities

Although the study referenced here is more than a decade old, the methodology and comprehensiveness of issues covered is very useful in understanding the role and impact CDCs can have in a city.

I've been active for the past decade within the industry having directed a CDC and now involved in policy and funding CDC activities.  My observation is that in the last decade, CDCs in Cleveland have continued to evolve in handling even more complex real estate projects and at the other end of the spectrum, some are involved in a renewal of activities related to community outreach and capacity building.  In addition, cooperation and in some cases consolidations have occurred and the scope of services is expanding to include more social issues such as education and economic issues such as workforce.

I encourage you to look at the whole study and to share your perspective on the successes, opportunities and challenges CDCs in Cleveland face.

And, if you're in a outer-ring or outlying suburb what are your resources, both within your city government and your neighborhood or community wide civic wide organizations?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2013 Consolidated Plan City Council Budget Hearing

Community Development Block Grant Budget (CDBG) hearings begin this morning and run through Thursday.  Watch the hearing live at Cleveland Channel 20.  See the previous post regarding CDBG funds for the hearings schedule and demographic information that provides the context for these hearings.

CDBG funds are federal funds issued through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The City of Cleveland's CDBG allocations are estimated for 2013 at $24.7 million.  This represents the lowest allocation in the program's 39-year history.

2013 CDBG Presentation and budget information,
Department of Building & Housing
Summary excerpts:
2012 marked an unprecedented "push back" against abandoned property.  Some 2012 successes have included a large number of inspections (8,569); condemnation notices (4,478), with several thousands in process; 758 demolitions (housing rehab will be reported in a separate section that details housing); 
Demolition summary, City of Cleveland, from 2006 - 2012; 6,517 structures at a cost of $49.2 million.  Through the County land back, an additional 2,311 properties were demolished in the last two years.  
Total demolitions in the City of Cleveland (City/County) for the 6 year period from 2006 - 2012 were 8,828.  Per the 2010 census there were an estimated 113,000 housing structures (excluding 94,000 multi-family units (45.4%)).  The 8,828 demolitions to-date, represent approximately 5.0 to 7.0% of the housing single-family stock.  Note that the population of Cleveland decreased by 81,000 for the decade 2000 -2010, from 478,000 to 397,000.

The City recovered $700,000 from just three property owners related to nuisance abatements.  There are an additional 92 properties that the City is pursuing owners to recoup $219,000 in demolition costs.

Building & Housing's software, the Accela Automation System was upgraded in 2012 with one noteworthy accomplishment of rental registration data and certificate of disclosure information incorporated into the system.
Initiatives announced for 2013 establishing a "Customer Service Center"; selecting mobile computing devises for use in the field; and implementing an electronic construction plan submittal system.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

SCFBC Strategic Plan 2012-2014

The following is a summary of information provided in the complete 20-page Strategic Plan Document that is provided below.

The Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office (SCFBC) opened in July 2010. The organization provides comprehensive community development services, focusing on five core areas as identified by a community residents and stakeholders during the 2010 strategic planning process.
  • Community Organizing and Outreach
  • Housing Development
    • Including: support for home repair and improvement and code enforcement 
  • Land Reutilization, Greenspace and Garden Support Safety and quality of life services
  • Economic Development


The mission of the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office is to revitalize our neighborhoods, celebrate our history, and strengthen collaboration, diversity and redevelopment.

SCFBC Service Area

The service area of the organization encompasses the majority of Cleveland's Ward 14 (Cummins)  and portions of Ward 15 (Zone) & Ward 16 (Westbrook).

The area is bounded by Interstate-90 and Train Avenue to the north and the Big Creek Valley to the south between West 25th Street to West 82nd Street.  The community is home to a population of 26,704 residents.

SCFBC Service Area Existing Housing and Building Conditions
  • Number of Housing Units: 12,347 housing units. 
  • Housing Type: 83% are one- and two-family houses. 
  • Foreclosures:  The Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods have been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis with 24% of all one- and two-family homes going through foreclosure since 2005. 
  • Demolition: 2% of all houses have been demolished – lower than what is needed due to City failure to fairly allocate demolition funding 
  • Vacant Housing: 20% of houses are currently vacant. 
  • Home Ownership: The home ownership rate is fairly high – 41%. 
  • Age of Housing Stock: 73% of all houses were built before 1940. 
  • Median Home value: The median home value of $45,950 has increased significantly since 1990 but has declined recently due to the foreclosure crisis.

Goals Strategies & Tactics

Goal:  Increase Community Involvement in SCFBC 
  • Involve Stakeholders in Improving Neighborhood Safety
    • Tactics (see full report below for all tactics lists for each strategy)
  • Increase Participation and Cultivate Leadership
  • Develop Partnerships Within the SCFBC Service Area
  • Develop programs for vacant land reutilization and urban agriculture
  • Utilize Code Enforcement to Improve Building & Housing Conditions
  • Eliminate blight through graffiti abatement & vacant lot maintenance
  • Strengthen foreclosure prevention programming and outreach 
  • Rehabilitate Single Family Homes
  • Create comprehensive Concentrated Inspection Area (CIA) program

Goal:  Support Commercial Development
  • Provide technical assistance to businesses

Goal:  Connect residents with programs to assist with utility bills through
to HEAP, PIPP, Water Affordability, Weatherization, and PRC programs
  • Connect residents with programs to assist with utility bills through to HEAP, PIPP, Water Affordability, Weatherization, and PRC programs

Goal:  Strengthen SCFBC Organizational Foundation 
  • Develop organizational planning for SCFBC
  • Develop organizational marketing initiatives for SCFBC

Block Clubs, Community Associations

Please call the SCFBC for information on any group you are interested in attending or learning more about.  [See full report for more detailed information and meeting schedules]
  • Brooklyn Centre Community Association
  • Bush Ave Block Watch
  • Fenwick Neighbors Block Club
  • Fulton West Block Club
  • International Village
  • Jones Home Historic District Community Association (formerly Daisy Area)
  • Library, and Poe Ave. Meeting location: Jones Home Building Basement, Applewood Center Mapledale Ave Residents
  • Stockyard Connection
  • Village People
  • Unity Block Club
  • W. 33rd Street Block Club
  • W. 33rd and Bradwell Ave Residents
  • W. 73rd & Neighborhood Coalition

Community Interest Groups
  • Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
  • Cleveland TimeBank
  • Community Forum
  • Community Gardens
  • Community Leaders Committee
  • Economic Development Committee
  • Greenspace & Land Reutilization Committee
  • Housing Committee
  • Mix & Mingles Open House
  • Near West Community Council
  • NeighborCircles
  • Safety Committee
  • Stockyard Steppers
For information on any of the above community groups or programs, please contact the SCFBC office at (216) 961-9073, 3167 Fulton Road, #302, Cleveland, Ohio 44109
SCFBC Staff Listing:

Ext. 201: Nanci McCormack, Administrative Assistant
Ext. 202: Dave Reuse, Greenspace and Graffiti Abatement Specialist
               Dean Bates, SEC Volunteer
Ext. 204: Dharma Valentin, Community Organizer
Ext. 205: Adam Gifford, Director of Community Involvement
Ext. 206: Christina Keegan, VISTA – Time Bank Coordinator
       Brian Gozelanczyk, Law School Fellow
Ext. 207: Greg Baron, Housing Director
Ext. 208: Joe Narkin, Housing Specialist
Ext. 209: Adam Stalder, Economic Development Director
Ext. 210: Megan Meister, Program Director
Ext. 225: Loida Feliciano, Bi-lingual HEAP Intake Specialist
Ext. 226: Maribel Cirino, Bi-lingual HEAP Intake Specialist
Ext. 227: Litressa Hunter, HEAP Intake Specialist
Ext. 228: Sasha Ottoson-Deal, Development Specialist
Ext. 229: Juliana Cole, Community Network Weaver

SCFBC Services
[See full report for program accomplishments]
  • Community Outreach and Involvement
    • Block Clubs- Staff members provide assistance to area block clubs and community associations. If you are interested in getting involved in your area club or association, please call Adam Gifford, x205 or Dharma Valentin, x204.
    • Technical assistance for community-based grants (Adam Gifford, x205).
  • Community Network Weaving
    • Staff create partnerships between community organizations, schools, businesses, and institutions.  For more information, please call Juliana Cole, x229.
  • Housing Code Enforcement and Support 
    • Staff work alongside the City of Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing to enforce building and housing codes throughout the service area.  For more information, call Joe Narkin, x208.
    • Home Repair information.  If you are interesting in learning about the available home repair resource opportunities in the neighborhood (Joe Narkin, x208).
  • Community Gardens and Vacant Land Reuse
    • Staff provide assistance to residents and stakeholders that are interested converting vacant land into gardens and greenspace (Sasha Ottoson-Deal,  x228).
    • Vacant lot Side Yard Expansions (Sasha Ottoson-Deal, x228).
  • Graffiti Abatement and Clean Up Complaints
    • To report graffiti tags, please call Sasha Ottoson-Deal, x228.
    • To report illegal dumping or locations with garbage and debris (Sasha Ottoson-Deal, x228).
  • Commercial Support and Development
    • Support and technical assistance for neighborhood businesses and commercial properties.  For more information, please call Adam Stalder, x209
    • Facilitate referrals and technical assistance for the City of Cleveland’s Storefront Renovation Program (Adam Stalder, x209).

Complete SCFBC Strategic Plan Report

City of Cleveland Housing Strategies & CDBG Budget Hearings Agenda & Schedule

Approaches for Improving Our Neighborhood Housing 

The following information are summarized excerpts from a PowerPoint presentation given by the City's Department of Community Development to the Community and Economic Development Committee of Cleveland City Council on January 29th, 2013.

The full presentation (provided below), was given to our Committee in anticipation of the Community Development Block grant hearings that begin this coming week (see below for the agenda and schedule).  This information is helpful in understanding the context of our work in reviewing the impacts of the foreclosure crisis and the City's response.

Here are highlighted information and slides extracted from the study: