Barberton fights blight - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Summit County gets grant to fight blight


Aging homes - abandoned and falling apart - are crippling neighborhoods.

It is a big problem in Northeast Ohio.

Summit County just received a $7M state grant to tear down some of the crumbling homes.

Some of that money will be put to good use in Barberton. The city's housing stock has taken a beating.

Mayor Bill Judge tells 19 Action News that Barberton will spend about $1M tearing down eyesores.

"When you take into consideration a third of our homes were built before 1939, it is a major problem," said Mayor Judge. "Older homes are hard to keep up, a lot of homes were not built to our standards today."

Barberton has targeted 600 homes that need to come down.

"It brings our property values down and makes the neighborhood look crappy," said Bob Hureen of Barberton.

It not only looks bad, but despite police patrols, it's dangerous.

"The homeless go in and bust windows, taking furniture," said Craig Daugherty of Barberton. "It's terrible." 

"Taking scrap out of there, you don't know if they're going to burn it up or anything you don't know if it is best to tear it down." said Tim Thomas of Barberton.

The mayor says they hope to redevelop the lots with new homes or urban gardens.

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