Lorain to demolish dozens of abandoned, derelict properties - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lorain to demolish dozens of abandoned, derelict properties

A cat sits on the doorstep of a vacant home in Lorain. (Source: WOIO) A cat sits on the doorstep of a vacant home in Lorain. (Source: WOIO)
This house is overgrown with trees and shrubs. (Source: WOIO) This house is overgrown with trees and shrubs. (Source: WOIO)
Another abandoned home on E. 30th Street in Lorain. (Source:WOIO) Another abandoned home on E. 30th Street in Lorain. (Source:WOIO)
The former site of El Patio on Grove Avenue. (Source: WOIO) The former site of El Patio on Grove Avenue. (Source: WOIO)
LORAIN, OH (WOIO) -

The City of Lorain has its eye on abandoned, derelict houses.

Officials are starting the process to clean up dozens of properties to improve the city and its neighborhoods.

Lorain is recreating the demolition board it used to have in place, and so far they have a list of 115 properties that need to be reviewed, according to Safety Service Director Dan Given.

Neighbors in Lorain are sick of the eye sores.

Some people live next to or down the street from houses with boarded up windows, broken steps, siding falling off of houses and trees taking over the yard.

Nancy and Victor Rivera take pride in their home on East 30th Street.

They have a beautiful garden out front, with a nice front porch and a manicured lawn.

It's the complete opposite of the house next door.

“That house over there, it's very bad for us,” Nancy Rivera said.

“It would be nice if you could just tear it down, I would like that a lot,” Victor Rivera said.

The Riveras worry about their own property value and the crime it could bring.

Their neighbor Debbie Fenderson does, too.

“We got cats and raccoons living in the garage, I'm scared people might be living in that house,” she said.

Council member Angel Arroyo is sick of driving by vacant homes and crumbling businesses.

The old El Patio restaurant on Grove Avenue is at the top of his list.

He says the city is still in the early stages of reviewing properties, and the process can be complicated.

“Is it a county house, is it a personal house, just a vacant home? From there we'll put together the worst of the worst and we'll start doing what we have to do to take them down,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo says he gets complaints from residents in his wards all of the time about abandoned and derelict houses.

“These places people forget about, they don’t cut grass, they keep the doors open. It leaves opportunity in the city for people that deal with drugs and the homeless just continue to hang out,” Arroyo said.

Tommy Ortiz hopes they give some of these derelict homes a second chance.

“This is a nice neighborhood, I grew up in this neighborhood, all my life. And this house was one of the prettiest houses in the neighborhood at the time,” Ortiz said.

He owns two houses across the street from a vacant brick duplex.

He doesn't want to see it knocked down, but he knows a lot of abandoned houses will have to go.

“What can you do? I try to keep my yard and my houses nice and stuff. This is a good, quiet neighborhood,” he said.

The city is still working out funding, and no dollar amount has been set yet.

Funding will eventually need to be approved by city council.

The city could also get help from the Lorain County Land Bank and property owners themselves, who may be responsible for bulldozing or fixing up the homes.

The demolition board will meet next Thursday and reveal some of the properties on the list for the first time.

Officials will start inspections and figure out which houses need to come down.

The demolition board hopes to take a look at 20 to 25 properties a month.

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