Revitalize: Efforts to rebuild blighted east side areas of Cleve - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Revitalize: Efforts to rebuild blighted east side areas of Cleveland underway

Home on the list to be demolished at 2339 East 90th Street. (Source: WOIO) Home on the list to be demolished at 2339 East 90th Street. (Source: WOIO)
Finally being demolished in the city's fight against blight. (Source: WOIO) Finally being demolished in the city's fight against blight. (Source: WOIO)

On Tuesday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty announced his office is chipping in another $2 million to tear down abandoned homes in Cleveland. 

They've chosen two zones: one near the Cleveland Clinic and the other near MetroHealth Hospital. The idea is to tear down all the abandoned homes in these zones and try to prevent the rest of the residents from moving.

On Tuesday morning, Donisha stood on her porch on East 90th and smiled as the bucket of an excavator tore through a home's walls, like it was paper. It was a vacant home across the street from her and her two children, that's been abandoned for 20 years.

"I think it's great, because when I first moved over here, I was looking at the house like, 'Ohh my!' And it looked kind of like of creepy. And my kids was like, 'Mommy look at that! Is that something from Halloween?'" says Donisha.

"We are not going to become a Detroit," proclaimed McGinty, standing in front of the home ripped down. "I've been to Detroit. I've seen Detroit and other cities, where there are complete zones that have been abandoned. This is going to be an abandonment free zone."

The money McGinty has provided is from seized drug money and forfeitures. His goal is more than just picking a home here and there to tear down throughout the county, but rather to go through those two hospital zones and take them all down.

"If you knock this house down, the gang just goes over to this house, or that house over there, ready to be torn down," says McGinty.

The county's lead prosecutor says abandoned homes attract crime. In the past three years alone, within 500 feet of the home torn down Tuesday, there have been several robberies, four assaults and three rapes. Imagine Donisha and her family never having to look at it again.

"They're probably going to be like, 'Come home! And mom the house is gone! The haunted house is gone,'" says an elated mother.

The county has a total collection of $50 million in the program to rid the city of abandoned homes. With the $2 million from the prosecutor's office, they should be able to tear down an estimated 250 homes that are beyond repair.

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