Cleveland to spend $5 million to demolish abandoned homes

Posted at 4:09 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 08:54:01-04

Broken windows, missing siding, collapsing roofs, trash, warning and condemned signs- many call the abandoned homes scattered throughout Cleveland eyesores. 

But to so many people living in the neighborhoods filled with them, vacant homes are about more than what meets the eye.

"It ain't the ugliness that bothers me. We live in the hood, so I know how it's gonna look. But it's very dangerous. Especially you got young kids," Angel Shear told News 5.

Shear grew up on East 78th Street, and it's where she's raising her children now. About half the homes around them are vacant, many condemned. 

Tearing them down, top of mind for parents, like Shear, and others in the neighborhood after 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze was found brutally murdered inside a vacant home on the city's east side.

"I can't even let my kids go down the street more than two houses away from me because I'm worried someone might snatch them. Only takes a second to take 'em in the house," Shear said. 

Of the city of Cleveland's $600 million general fund, Cleveland City Council just approved $5 million to go towards demolishing abandoned homes with condemned property being the priority.

Council approved an additional $1 million for emergency help and repair. 

According to a city spokesman, the $5 million is part of the city's enhanced budget - from the 0.5 percent tax increase passed in November. 

So, the demolition will be taxpayer dollars at work, not grant money. 

People like Angel Shear told News 5 the money will be dollars well spent. 

"So we can protect our kids, and not just the kids, everyone," she said.