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Residents worried they will be priced out of up-and-coming Cleveland neighborhoods

Posted at 6:19 AM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 12:19:34-05

They've seen their communities at their worst, some hitting rock bottom. But turns out, the bounce back they're now experiencing could come at a cost.

As more remodeled homes and apartments hit the market in Cleveland’s hottest neighborhoods, concern is growing for those who remember how it used to be.

Helane Bryant lives on Lorain Avenue at West 78th.

"I've seen a lot of improvements," said Bryant.

The low-income resident, along with her neighbors in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood are living in fear.

"We're happy to see the improvements, but we're also afraid to lose each other," said Bryant.

Bryant tells News 5 she is concerned renewed interest in this part of town will price them out.

"We've gotten used to each other, we don't want to have to relocate and we're afraid that we won't be able to afford to stay," said Bryant.

A surge in rent is already happening in other revitalized areas like Tremont.

"It's not across the board for the entire neighborhood," said Cory Riordan, Tremont West Development Corporation.

Within a few blocks of Professor Avenue rent is up 20-30 percent in just the last few years, according to the Tremont West Development Corporation.

"We have heard that there is a growing concern about affordability and we've started to address that," said Riordan.

The organization is quickly working to replace once affordable housing that has been lost to the uptick in the market.

"If we're not looking at it today, then what happens tomorrow," said Riordan.

The goal in Tremont is to have 20 percent of the housing stock dedicated to low-income residents.

"We are all looking at additional ways we can make sure we are preserving our diversity and affordability," said Jenny Spencer, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization.

Right now, there are more than 1,000 affordable units in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

"We actually have a brand-new building breaking ground on Lorain Ave. by the Red Line rapid station, so we continue to build that housing," said Spencer.

All in an effort to keep neighborhoods intact, despite economic forces possibly pushing long-time residents out.

"The people that have been here are what make the neighborhood," said Bryant.

In Tremont, 70 percent of the housing is rentals.

Right now, we’re told there is something for every budget, but that is starting to change as rents increase, so work is intensifying to provide more affordable units.

In Gordon Square, the heart of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, there are more than 200 apartments above the businesses along Detroit and West 65th.

Low-income housing tax credits helped cover the cost to revitalize those buildings and provide affordable units.

This is part of News 5's 'Cleveland Abandoned' – a series like you’ve never seen on the state of vacant properties in Cleveland and how it impacts our city. This in-depth look will expose the scope and history of the problem. You will also hear from people and organizations working tirelessly to make their neighborhoods better. Lastly, “Cleveland Abandoned” will detail how we can work together to combat challenges, uncover solutions and improve our community.