CLEVELAND — There's a plan in the works to help declining middle neighborhoods in the city of Cleveland make a comeback and stop the flow of people moving to the suburbs.
The goal is to keep current homeowners happy and bring new ones in by investing in the city’s housing stock.
Councilman Kevin Kelley, who represents Ward 13 and is also president of the council, said amenities like the recently upgraded Loew Park in Old Brooklyn is what current residents wanted and potential residents are looking for.
“I don't know if there's anything in the region that offers what this park does,” Kelley said.
City officials added a walking track and a soccer stadium to the park.
“It’s just a beautiful amenity. Sadly, we had just cut the ribbon and we were working out what permitting would look like and how to best utilize this great asset, and then COVID-19 hits so it's been locked up,” Kelley said. “There's a lot of nice places to live in Northeast Ohio, so why choose Cleveland? Well this is one reason.”
Persuading people to stop moving to the suburbs and instead stay in Cleveland is what city officials are trying to do with its ten-year housing and investment plan.
Earlier this week, the city’s community development team told members of council that they hope to soon have part of that plan ready. It includes shoring up some of Cleveland’s middle neighborhoods.
Middle neighborhoods are places like Old Brooklyn, Collinwood, Buckeye-Shaker, Larchmere and more.
“Neighborhoods that are right on that cusp of being able to make a comeback, but still are at risk of decline,” said Ward 6 Councilman Blaine A. Griffin.
Griffin said city officials are looking for ways to invest in the city’s housing stock and want to see both private and public investment in neighborhoods.
But even though there’s a focus on the new, he said current residents won’t be forgotten.
“We have people that've been here for 20, 30 years and are second and third and fourth generation homeowners and just as much energy as we put into building new housing and new apartment buildings, we need to try to find ways to help them as well,” Griffin said.
Kelley said improving all aspects of every neighborhood matters when it comes to keeping Cleveland on the path to success.
"Cleveland is its neighborhoods. And as Cleveland goes, Cuyahoga County goes, and the region goes. We can't have a successful, central business district but not have successful neighborhoods,” Kelley said.
Griffin said officials are currently taking public input and is encouraging residents of middle neighborhoods to attend the community development team’s meetings to make their voices heard.
The city's community development page can be found here.
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