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Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods awarded $9 million, but how should the money be used?

Posted at 11:01 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 22:20:38-04

CLEVELAND — Some of Cleveland's most impoverished neighbors will soon benefit from a $9 million award issued by JPMorgan Chase and Cleveland Development Advisors, but community activists are wondering how the money will be used.

The funds are set to stimulate projects and improvements in the Cleveland's Clark-Fulton, Glenville and Buckeye-Kinsman neighborhoods.

Clark-Fulton Community Activist Nelson Cintron Jr. is hoping some of the dollars will be used to stimulate small business development and jobs along the vacant Storer Avenue business corridor.

Cintron believes low income homeowners should be given a boost.

“We need neighborhood input, let’s get neighbors involved," Cintron said. "Let’s get storefront owners who would love to open one of the small business here on Storer Avenue and to hire some of the people. Let's try to help homeowners that can’t apply to fix their homes, give them a grant, where that money could be 0 percent interest money that they can pay back to the city for the next family to use.”

Buckeye community activist Julian Khan agreed the grant money should be used to help develop small businesses and jobs along Buckeye Road, an area he's seen decline over the past two decades.

“This entire corridor needs resuscitation,” Khan said. “I can think of when it was a lot more vibrant, and 20 years of disinvestment is like controlled demolition of sorts, right?"

Ward 14 Councilwoman Jasmin Santana issued the following statement in response to the new funding:

“This new revolving loan program is a great addition to all the exciting things already happening in my neighborhood, including new or soon to be built homes, new businesses opening, buildings being redeveloped for new tenants including the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as the CentroVilla25 project, a new incubator space for Latino entrepreneurs,” said Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who represents Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

“I want to thank JP Morgan Chase and the Cleveland Development Advisors for the nearly $9 million that will go into these up and coming neighborhoods including Clark-Fulton, Glenville and Buckeye-Kinsman."

“All three of these neighborhoods are already seeing positive changes through the Mayor’s Transformation program. And in my neighborhood, we also have the nearly $1 billion MetroHealth Transformation project which, besides a new hospital and park, includes millions for reinvestment in the neighborhood including a new apartment complex on West. 25th Street.”

Cleveland Councilman Blaine Griffin told News 5 job creation should be a key focus in distributing the grant money.

“We need try and generate more workforce dollars, we need to figure out how to bring jobs in this proximity,” Griffin said.

Meanwhile, Cintron believes residents in all three neighborhoods should have input on where the money will be used.

“There should be public hearings. Bring the homeowners in, bring the storefront property owners, and tell them I’m trying to get a loan—I can’t do it on my credit card,” Cintron said