“Get rid of it;” Clark-Fulton Neighbors say vacant property owned by MetroHealth charity attracting crime

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Neighbors on the west side are sick of an old apartment building on their street and the constant crime it attracts.

This particular eyesore has ties to a local hospital, yet nothing is being done about it.

That’s why one man called the 19 Troubleshooters looking for answers.

“The crackheads, the drug sales, all of it,” said West 30th Neighbor Norman Jackson. “We as neighbors are just tired of it.”

It’s a problem that’s been plaguing West 30th Street for more than a decade.

Norman Jackson, who lives a few doors down, says this vacant apartment building has become nothing but a magnet for crime, trash, and rodents.

“It’s really getting to be a problem,” said Jackson. “It was a problem before Metro bought it and it’s still a problem.”

You heard that right. This eyesore is connected to MetroHealth.

According to the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer’s website, CCH Development Corporation, a charity associated with MetroHealth, bought the property, and the two houses next door, in 2019.

It was originally meant to be part of MetroHealth’s revitalization of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

But four years later, nothing has been done.

“You tell Metro police that it’s a problem here, they don’t do nothing but ride past,” said Jackson. “That’s all they do. They won’t go in there to see if anybody’s in there dead. They won’t go in there. I didn’t know who to call except for 19.”

So the 19 Troubleshooters did what we do best and started digging for answers.

According to a spokesperson for Metro Health, they’re planning on tearing down the three properties on West 30th and cleaning the area in Spring of 2024.

As for why it took so long, the spokesperson says they weren’t able to secure enough funding for new construction, but they did get a grant for the demolition.

MetroHealth sent us this statement, saying “Raising capital for affordable housing projects is always a challenge. We continue to work with public and private partners to assemble the funding for this and other projects that will increase the health and wealth of the communities we serve. In the meantime, we have been successful in getting demolition dollars from the State of Ohio, and plan to proceed with that in Spring of 2024.”

Finally, some answers for Jackson and his neighbors.

Now, they wait for a tear down they’ve been begging for for years.

“We are tired of all of it,” said Jackson. “We’ve been tired for years. Come do something with the building, please.”

MetroHealth says the buildings may eventually become part of housing, but nothing is set in stone.