Cleveland adding 33 employees to help with the removal of condemned buildings

Cleveland adding 33 employees to help with the removal of condemned buildings

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The City of Cleveland posted on Twitter they are adding 33 employees to better inspect residential and vacant properties. This will also help to remove condemned properties.

One of the jobs for the 33 new employees will be inspectors. According to Media Relations Director Dan Williams money for this is coming from the city's budget, this is after the half percent income tax increase.

This is the first income tax increase in 32 years and enhances the general fund by $80 million a year.

The process of tearing down these houses is taking place almost daily.  Jim Rokakis with the County Land Conservancy said a lot of workers help out with the tearing down of each home.

Rokakis said the addition of these employees will help the process.

"It's very positive news," Rokakis said.

Statewide, $440 million has been raised to demolish abandoned houses. Cleveland has kicked in $68 million, and the county another $50 million.

There are about 5,000 to 6,000 abandoned houses left in Cleveland to be torn down. It costs, on average, $10,000 to take a house down (if there are no complications).

"The city has what is called police power to go in. If a place has been abandoned and is a wreck, they can declare it a nuisance, a hazard, and take it down quickly," said Rokakis. "The more complicated process is the federal money, of which there's still $30 million available. The land bank has to acquire that property through tax foreclosure. That can take months, sometimes up to a year."

If a house is merely boarded up and the taxes are paid, that house cannot just be torn down.

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