CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - It doesn’t look like much now, but a vacant lot on West 50th Street in Ohio City will soon become a beacon of light for lower to moderate-income families.
“The sun is shining on us today for very good reason” says Councilmen Kerry McCormack, 3rd Ward in Cleveland, as he and other area leaders gather Friday afternoon at the vacant lot to break ground on a new single-family home.
With property values skyrocketing the past decade, in areas like Ohio City and Tremont, many Northeast Ohio families houses have struggled to find something affordable. It’s about to become a little easier, thanks to a venture by the Near West Land Trust, which is a partnership between Tremont West Development Corporation and Ohio City Incorporated, with land provided through the City of Cleveland’s land bank.
The first affordable home on West 50th Street with be about 1300 square feet, with three bedrooms, and it will be energy-star certified.
“This house will be priced around $180,000. A similar product in this neighborhood would probably go for $350,000 and up” says Ben Trimble, acting director of the Near West Community Land Trust. “I think it’s important to make sure that people have housing opportunities for all incomes in our neighborhoods” Trimble says.
The partnership hopes to build five houses in Near West Side neighborhoods this year and ramp up to ten in 2022.
“We have great access to transit in our neighborhoods, great access to job centers, those are all things that are a lot more important to lower-income folks” Trimble says.
Families in the 60-120% range of Areawide Median Income, which translates to a family of four making less than $61,000 annually, for example, are eligible for the homes.
The community land trust model involves the nonprofit owning land and then leasing it at a minimal cost to those who live in housing built on that land. If homeowners in the land trust choose to resell their homes, they have to sell to moderate or low-income individuals, or sell their home back to the land trust.