grant to revitalize Lakewood housing
By Allison Pritchard
Published Jan. 7, 2009
On Dec. 19 the
Ohio Department of Development announced that the City of Lakewood
will receive $1,072,216 as part of the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization
Program. Lakewood received this award after months of advocacy by
city officials to federal state and local officials, according to
a recent press release. The amount received exceeds the amount that
Lakewood officials anticipated, the release said.
Funds will be
used toward implementing Mayor Ed FitzGerald’s Housing Initiative.
As part of the initiative, the city plans to buy some run-down properties
adjacent to businesses and knock them down to increase parking availability.
Businesses may purchase lots and some may be made into municipal
parking lots, Nathan Kelly, director of planning and development
is going to be unique with its condition, location and financial
situation,” Kelly said. Some neglected homes will be bought by the
city and rehabilitated with new kitchens and bathrooms for the city
to resell, Kelly said. Other houses may be knocked down and land
will be sold to adjacent homeowners who want bigger yards. Additionally,
Lakewood also plans to extend the program that converts some double
homes into singles.
emphasis on housing and FitzGerald’s launch of the Lakewood Housing Initiative were attributed
as the city’s reasons for why it deserved more funding, the release
The 2008 20-point
initiative is a two-pronged approach: it encourages investment by
homeowners, while streamlining and toughening enforcement measures,
according to Kelly. Common violations include chipped paint or out
of compliance railings, Kelly said.
initiative’s goal of investment by homeowners will include the city’s
assembly and augmentation of existing programs to help attract homeowners,
has a lot of renters, the city hopes to convert some renters into
first time home owners by offering down payment assistance, low
interest loans and some grants. Even when the banks are tight, Lakewood
residents can take advantage of loans from the city and Lakewood’s
unique partnerships with banks like the First Federal of Lakewood,
Kelly told West Life. These loans encourage investment by homeowners,
he said. Residents can call the Office of Community Development
at (216) 529-4663 to find a program. The programs should fill vacant
properties and increase community worth, Kelly said.
As part of the
initiative, the city has also painted a couple dozen homes, Kelly
said. To increase value of their homes, some residents can apply
for a historic preservation designation. Counsel and advice on paint
colors to be historically accurate are also available, Kelly said.
in Lakewood is housing, Kelly said. Compared to some peer communities,
Lakewood’s housing situation is good, Kelly said. It doesn’t have
the foreclosure problems some cities have. If something is already
productive to the city, the city isn’t going to change it, but if
it is nonproductive, Lakewood will work to address the problems,
is will help to preserve our housing stock for the next generation
of Lakewood residents,” FitzGerald said in the release.
For more information,
contact Nathan Kelly, Director of Planning and Development for the
city of Lakewood at (216) 529-6635.