As newcomers move in, Old Brooklyn homeowners weigh in on neighborhood housing

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 8:35 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ann Kuula spent her Tuesday morning checking on her tomatoes in her front yard on Granby Avenue... it’s been her home for a long time.

“I’ve lived in Old Brooklyn for about 20 years and I’m very proud to be in this community,” she said.

19 News spoke to a variety of residents in Old Brooklyn, to better understand the neighborhood’s view on housing as it builds a better neighborhood.

Kuula explained her street has become a hot-spot for homebuyers: “We’ve sold five homes this year and four homes have been remodeled.”

Many of the residents 19 News spoke to were new to town; some haven’t been in their homes for a full year.

Jessica Haynes is one of these new neighbors. She only moved into her Memphis Ave. home last November.

“There’s really no shenanigans or nothing upsetting, so I’m happy living here at the moment,” she said.

Old Brooklyn isn’t a flawless neighborhood.

One of its biggest struggles is food insecurity and food deserts, as some homes still remain far removed from any local grocer.

“For people who have to travel by bus that don’t drive, we’ve lost close food and small stores,” Kuula said.

Another concern is affordability.

According to a study from the Center for Community Solutions, about a third of Old Brooklyn residents live in homes where housing costs outweigh income.

Thankfully, residents like Haynes have yet to feel such an impact: “The apartment was $575, this is a two-bedroom house and we pay $675, not that much of a difference.”

As Old Brooklyn and its neighbors continue to help build a better Cleveland, residents like Hayns plan on planting roots here: “I’m ok, I plan to stick around.”

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