area has been hit hard with foreclosures. But community leaders and new residents are revitalizing and putting the once-proud neighborhood back on homebuyer's maps.
At the height of the foreclosure crisis, 1 in 4 homes in a pocket of Slavic Village were vacant. But now, houses are filling back up and the neighborhood has a renewed sense of pride.
"When the trash man is waiving to people down the street, you know it's going to be a nice neighborhood," said Jeremy Grove, the
homebuyer. "My wife and I look at this as, 'if we are going to move into this region, what are we going to do to contribute to the community as a whole?'"
The public private partnership helped the Groves transition from rural renters to homeowners and neighbors.
"Having a house payment of less than $500 is incredible," said Groves.
Jeff Raig says they've taken a significant bite out of the apple. About 150 homes have been demolished and others are now occupied through their effort to rebuild in a concentrated area of 2,400 homes.
"When we started the project, there hadn't been a normal real estate transaction for at least 12 months. Every transaction had been a bank foreclosure or a flip," explained Raig.
He says they've raised property values by about $10,000 in just two years, and the property upkeep and homeownership activity has been contagious.
"I'm seeing the market pick up…slowly, but it's picking up. That's a plus for everybody," said neighbor Devon Brooks.
An additional 30 homes are already owned by the project, with the goal of selling 50 by the end of the year. Raig says this formula could work in other neighborhoods.
"It's a very solid neighborhood and there are other neighborhoods very similar to it in Cleveland. So could it be duplicated," he said.
Raig says now that they've got momentum, they want to keep doing the same things, but at a quicker pace.