05 May 2009

AP Story on Emptiest Neighborhoods

An AP story about the continuing decline of the Rust Belt makes significant mentions of OTR and Cincinnati. What is interesting is that this is a national story by the AP, it is run on the Enquirer's front page, but it has no Cincinnati reporters contributing. Thus it barely scratches the surface of the reality in OTR.

The story notes that 3% of all homes in the US (4 million) have been vacant for at least 90 days. What they don't say is that is also the equivalent to 4 to 5 years of new home construction in the U.S.

Maybe it is time to stop building and start rehabbing.


Paul Wilham said...

The article also said nothing about the citys' own contribution to the problem by holding large blocks of property and not letting go of them. 3CDC and other preffered developers have more property than they can EVER restore.

The city needs to start an "urban move" program and offer some of its property for a dollar to anyone who can document they have the financial ability and is willing to owner occupy for 5 yrs.

We have to let go of the 'prefferred developer" concept and get some people back in the neighborhood willing to make the financial committment to actually live there.

The city also needs to hold itself to its own standards and put roofs on its properties and paint the exteriors.

The condo/loft everything is good idea but where will the 20 somethings go when they grow up , and have kids? The burbs? We need to be encouraging the restoration of the brownstones that dot the neighborhood. I know so many people who would love to buy an OTR brownstone , have a small back yard and a garage out back, but just about everything 'viable' is owned by the city who doesnt even maintain what they own. We have to have single family housing options for the neighborhood to be anything other than starter housing for 20 somethings, that will turn over every 5 yrs. We need stability and a community that will grow.

If you had 1 or 2 homes per block on Race and Elm being restored,near Findlay, you would be
surprised how quickly the area would come back.

Frankly the city needs to divest itself and get out of the way of old hosue lovers who could turn OTR around and make it a community again.

CityKin said...

Well, 3CDC owns tons of stuff south of Liberty, but some of it they are willing to sell if you make an offer.

But I think OTR is a bit different than other neighborhoods, because most of the buildings are quite large and would be too much for single owners to tackle. There are some single family rowhouses here and there, but mostly they are on the hillside or other neighborhoods.