CLE residents say house demolitions would make a great holiday gift

CLEVELAND – Some residents living near a doomed house on East 176th Street in the Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland believe the potentially dangerous house demolition would make a perfect holiday gift.

Pasa Barnett, who lives near the vacant house, has started a petition campaign in the neighborhood and submitted more than 60 signatures to the city of Cleveland, demanding that the house be given an appointment with a team of wreckers.

“It would be a great Christmas present, I actually started the petition,” Barnett said. “Nothing good comes from a property like this.”

Angela Hammock and her husband Darryl told News 5 that they have been living right next to the wide open condemned house for more than two years.

“What worries me is that we’re three doors down from a school, that there have been vagrants coming in and out,” Hammock said. “I constantly hunt curious little kids, so this poses a danger and a threat.

Hammock said she was concerned for the safety of her children and grandchildren as well as those in the neighborhood.

“I cannot live without this type of activity. I have kids i have grandchildren and it’s not even safe for them to get out of their car and come to my back door because we don’t know what kind of item broke Hammock said. “It’s terrible they raise my property taxes and I live next door to it and it drives down the value of my property. The owner tried to secure the house, but 24 hours later they had destroyed the boards she had installed, so they don’t care.

News 5 has attempted to contact the owner of the home, who owes nearly $ 10,000 in back property taxes, but so far we have not been able to get a response.

Meanwhile, it’s the same story in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, where residents like Odetta Fields and Ed McDonald await the demolition of doomed homes on Harvard and Kirkham Avenues.

“We don’t feel safe walking around here because you don’t know if you’re going to be dragged into one of these houses,” Fields said. “I want the mayor-elect of Cleveland. [Justin] Bibb to come out and see this area and see how much money has to be put into the demolition.

McDonald said that while residents wait for homes to finally be demolished, the city of Cleveland continues to play cat-and-mouse trying to keep homes closed and secure.

“They’re always boarding, but whoever does that keeps ripping off the boards. We are afraid that, just like on the street, someone will be found dead inside this house, ”said McDonald. “We don’t want you to go out and report another serious case of discovery dead in there, what if somebody dragged a child into this house?” “

Cleveland Ward 8 City Councilor Michael Polensek said he hoped Bibb would get key city departments to focus on holding owners of condemned homes accountable, getting them to housing court, and homes faster on the demolition list.

“The legal department has to be aggressive, and the building and housing department has to be aggressive, and frankly, that just isn’t the case,” Polensek said. “As bad as it sounds, I can take you to half a dozen others who are just as bad, if not worse than that.

Bibb responded to our story through a spokesperson who released the following statement:

Thank you for your request. Mayor-elect Bibb will take office on January 3, and in the meantime, we are working to prepare to rule the city.

There are many issues that will require immediate attention like this, and we can talk about this and other topics at that time.

Out of respect for Mayor Jackson and his administration, all questions of the city should be directed to his office until Mayor-elect Bibb is sworn in.

The city of Cleveland has responded to our story and made safe and secure the house on Harvard Avenue, but so far has not issued a demolition date for the house on East 176 Street.

News 5 will follow this developing story.

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