HUD is unloading vacant HOMES

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 04/23/2009 - 09:23.

HUD is unloading vacant homes in the City of Cleveland.  Call your council representative and demand some accounting for the fate of these homes. 

Community Development Corporations (CDCs) are picking up these HUD homes for $100.00 ($1.00?).  The CDCs are evaluating these properties for restoration and demolition.  Most will be demolished quickly and with little recourse.  Demolitions will take place using Community Development Block Grant funds (your money).  Ask who is getting these demolition contracts?

Ask your council representative to list the homes NOT listed for CDC restoration.  The community should be given some opportunity to decide the fate of these homes.  If a family or person is willing to step forward to take the home and restore it--they should be given the option to own the house.  These homes should not be demolished at your cost. 

For the worst case scenarios--homes that must be demolished---demand that HUD demolish their own problem homes (still your money, but not the dedicated pool of money that can be used to fix problems in your neighborhood).  Demand accountability on the use of CDBG and Economic Stimulus funds, which are intended to encourage investment in the neighborhood, not intended for the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods and, certainly, not intended to facilitate demolitions for development schemes as we are witnessing throughout the City of Cleveland.

The City of Cleveland says it is working to get HUD to demolish these homes beyond hope. Prove it.

( categories: )

cost analysis/basic economics

We need to ask a lot of questions. What does it cost to have the home demolished? Wouldn't it be cheaper just to give it away to a neighbor?

What checklist is used in the selection process? Who or what decides? What alternatives are considered?

There's too much secrecy here. Demolition seems to favor the banks--they get rid of a liability, they get eventually to lend new money for redevelopment, they get to keep on playing.

Restoration makes no sense for lenders, especially if it is done gradually, with cash.

Our city elected and hired help are probably working against us in these issues, and for the lenders. Given the cloaking of all processes, they're trying to pull a fast one, again.

OOPS!, they always say, and then get reelected, or funded again.

Good points about investment versus destruction.

If you gave a neighbor the same amount of money it costs to tear the house down and hold the lot for the bank, the neighbor could probably stabilize it, fix it gradually, and conserve the asset.

I wrote a book :)




How that goes is that “HUD Homes” are FHA backed mortgages, these homes are foreclosures.

A FHA foreclosure is bought at the sheriff sale, if nobody bids on it. Then it becomes a HUD home and then it gets marketed for six months. If it then does not sell, it then goes to the municipalities that can buy them for $1.00. Basically they give the homes to the cities that they exist within. The dollar is a contractual exchange, there has to be an exchange.  The city has a process, the CDC's can and do monitor the lists. 

There are federal grants to recover these homes, and if there are entities that are ready willing and able to legitimately make repairs and remarket the homes, they will. If they do not think they can then it gets demolished. That all related to how bad it is and if it is vandalized or in such bad shape it cannot be profitable.

It’s insane, literally, in 2000 the city had over 15,000 homes valued under $50,000.00.

under 20K -15,013

under 30 -2,412

under 40 -4,209

under 50-6,706

under 60-8,392

under 80- 23,600

under 100-16,851

under 150-9,111

under 200-1,470

under 250-490

So what happens to these values in 2010? 

The city has a median household income of $25,928, that tells you nothing about their financial wherewithal, how much can they afford? They can afford $500.00 a month on the median. That’s without any consideration of credit worthiness or debt obligations. That is the median and 239,201 or half the populations household income is below that.


I just does not work, it will not work. The homes can be remarketed but any repairs will not get higher values, the market does not exist. It does in one and twos, but over all it does not.

Think about it, buying a home with an income of 25K or less? They are lucky to keep up with the rent for 6 months.

Oh my its all about comprehensive planning, if you want to save the historical structures. The homes have to be fully restored in some areas and then cleared from some. They actually need housing that is below the median contract rent of $379.00. In propensity and it has to break even or you will get taxed to death to subsidize it.

They cannot figure out how to do it, I did, in a region you can offer fixed prices at cost. That being if you live or work in the region, aka a defined district. Then you get first option at breakeven housing. That is what it cost to build and operate the housing, backed with zero interest nontransferable bonds. Nothing is subsidized people rent and the property and residents pays all taxes as any would.

The cost to build is $100.00 per square foot, 600 sq ft cost $166.00 a month for 30 years. That’s the bond recovery, then add to that property taxes and insurances. It's entirely feasible, the rent in part goes to pay back the bonds.

Back on point, if you are talking about restoring homes in a historic area then those homes, if they have a market and that has to be defined. A set of homes matching a range of incomes. If the home is free as some are, then that makes it easy to appreciate if it is secured with a set value around it. It cannot be threatened with subsidizes. The free house could get 100K of improvements and be sold for $100K, but only if there is a market for it. It could be backed with bonds and then charged interest at a nominal rate.

Thats why you need the regional data and larger districts, to stratify land use and market segments. The cycling of the bonds would set a positive counter force that would keep prices down, prevent inflation. It's funny everybody wanted there homes to appreciate until they all realized that nobody can afford anything anymore.


 Enlarge parks and green spaces, reduce through traffic, create industrial and traffic corridors, restructure all the grids.  Create industrial clusters and corridors.  Create low cost districts that are transit oriented.   

What is important is that nothing is subsidized, or restricted to access with income ceilings. That’s because people need to have the ability to recover or save. It is not just a mater of not being able to afford it, it is about ensuring that excess exits. We have large portions of our society so far from excess they are taking it from others. It is like a really dumb cycle, can you see it…I can.

It is like, I can’t afford it you need to pay me more, now I still can’t afford it you need to pay me more.

They actually need banking reform, the banks need to have a tier one that is primary and only transaction driven. That is were all the income goes and all the contractual and legal obligations come out. That defines our worth and the market build around that.

That could take all of it off the employer, they would only offer you a title and description and a rate of compensation. Then everything else managed in tier one. The tier one banks would operate on fees, each transfer would charge a fee. The fee to transfer and track the movement of capital.

The smallest unit is a parcel, then a district then a region, then a state and collectively the nation. Every thing tracked by parcel and what exits on that defined.

At the lowest quintile is real dysfunction, it is not that substantial the majority of disenfranchisement is to those that are actually functional. That requires a living wage a lowest level of income that meets a defined minimum cost of living function.

Separating ourselves from the employer is best, then it is a matter of finding only compensation. “Benefits” are really a trap and many are disgruntled and not very productive. You should be vested or invested in what is related to you and your efforts and abilities.

Its not communism its not socialism, its societal engineering?



The city planning commission

The city planning commission has a map, it has every parcel on the map for the whole city.

If you zoom in you can actually identify a parcel and then click on that parcel and the county data base opens.

What missing?

The data in the county data need to be tagged with foreclosure and also sheriff sale dates.

The map should be on or linked to Google earth, that being the parcels and linked data sets.

Then each district defined and queries could be run, a list and if linked to Google earth you could actually see the home. They have that feature for most of the city.

They need smart tools, if a home is on the market then all of them should be seen. That includes foreclosures and for sales by owners and realtors.

If smart they show the stats of the area and also the target market. If the homes have median value of $150,000 then the target market is $50,000 in median income. It could state the area is historic and then the criteria that must be meet.

The point is that the county sheriff list of foreclosures is rudimentary and the private services that offer lists…not that great. The county sucks, the title should not need a search or a guarantee, computerize it.

The real value of property is…real it directly related to the person that drives the nails.

Then you say here is a cluster of homes and the target value is 150K, then back that with low interest loans, first option is to those that qualify within the defined district or those that work within the district.

As for low cost housing, that’s multi-units and based on real income as well, stratified layers.

The county could tag multi-units. Then offer rental advertising to owners. They could also register residence and pre-qualify them. Low cost bond backed housing with first option to district residents.

HUD is F-d up, they need to breakeven and stop with the vouchers. They need to back local bonds and those set to recover face value over time, to meet the real market in propensity.

That’s why we need tier-one transaction banking to see what the costs of living really is. Housing is primary if that is not working and functioning its all self defeating.

Just remember if its a breakeven then everybody that adds real value gets paid, we got people that are taking a piece of it and adding nothing.

OBDC meeting


Did any one attend the OBDC Transportation for Liveable Communities meeting last night?  I have already looked at the plan and apparently the mystery demos...Riverside, Denison etc. are part of the larger plan to clear areas for commercial development...using our money.

Every demo in the city costs taxpayers twice.  In terms of paying the contractor to demolish (fat contracts for someone, who??---PD, I would like to know how many demo liens actually get reimbursed by the delinquent property owners?) and terms of the loss of tax income on the property.  The larger, unmeasured cost is the loss of community.

If there is a plan behind this wholesale demolition strategy, I would like to see it.  As it stands, neighborhoods like Slavic Village--where a diverse group of people know each other and socialize with each other--are being destroyed and, literally, taken off the map.  

Brian--here's your chance to chime in.  Please list the houses picked up by the CDC--Robyn Sandys told me that only one of them is scheduled to be Ward 16.

Northeast Shores

The CDC has a strategy for these houses in the North Collinwood neighborhood.  Scene is picking up the story... I know this, because I work with someone who lives in North Collinwood and her councilman Mike Polensek keeps her informed.

Where's our strategy?  Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre are not the only neighborhoods where residents are being kept in the dark.  This is happening all over Cleveland.  We need better representation.

who are the developers?

 laura, do you know who the developers are?

its my understanding, based on media reports that the developers also get a sizeable hunk of our Neighborhood Stabilization Funds. Something like 20% of project cost grant up to $200k and lowinterest 1 - 3% loan packages.

i have not heard of any money to go for residents who want to stay in their homes or people who want to buy in Cleveland but can't because lending has not opened, despite repeated bank capitalization.

at this point it seems to me a piece is missing in the program. but maybe that is intentional, as ARM mortgages are scheduled to reset enmass this summer. with no one able to buy these homes, even at ridiculously low prices, the developers will be having a picnic.

in fact, they already are - check out the records for property transfers in cleveland at neocando. see who is buying at rock bottom prices. as i've said before, its a perfect storm, and the cdcs are the developers bitches.

Use NEO CANDO for GOOD -- never for EVIL


Thanks Debra--I was wondering where to find some of the neighborhood stats.  I haven't visited NEO-CANDO for awhile.  Now you need to register and check the box stating you will Use NEO CANDO for GOOD -- never for EVIL . That's a good one :)

Neighborhood Revitalization Partners is one of the developers set to profit.  NRP has already had 2000 Denison cleared at taxpayer expense.  This project should be immediately scrapped due to environmental limitations on the site.  I am waiting for some information to be forthcoming from Councilman Cummins.  Historic townhouses and an example of early storefront architecture are boarded and slated for execution soon.

I don't know who is slated to redevelop the corner of Riverside/Pearl just off I-&71. 2606 Riverside was the mystery opps?! demo of Chuck Pignoni property purchased for rehab and then some miscommunication occured between the councilman's office and the Building and Housing department.  Mr. Pignoni got the discounted lien rate.  Only $4,000 or so, compared to the $12,000 going rate for demos.

Steel Valley Credit Union and Sal's Diner are some of the property owners set to benefit from the sale of the lots on the corner of Pearl and Denison identified for future commercial development. Rumor has it--big box drug store.  Yippee!! Just what we need to completely clear out the Coral Group plaza on Pearl between Archwood and Mapledale...former councilman Jim Rokakis and his protege Merle Gordon engineered the Coral Group project and ALDI development...can't believe that our new Land Bank Tsar doesn't have his handprints on any of the future developments slated for Pearl and Denison...his family benefited from the demo of the Glen Restaurant for the CVS on the corner of Memphis and Pearl in the 1990s.  Still curious to know who helped to get the failed Aberdeen Development project going...also soon slated for demolition... and never mentioned by the CDC.

CDCs are the developers bitches is right...

Neighborhood Revitalization Partners

Neighborhood Revitalization Partners is very active in other areas of the city as well. Their name comes up frequently as the recipient of homes for $0 - $1000.

This is all I can fnd on them:

Neighborhood Revitalization Partners

 0 reviews   Rate & Review

703 E Exchange St, Akron, OH 44306

Phone: (330) 253-6596


Who are they? Are the carpet baggers coming north this time?

I thought Chuck owned quite

I thought Chuck owned quite a few of those properties at the end of Pearl and Riverside by 71.  Back in the eighties he bought a lot of houses in Tremont and rehabed them - made a lot of really nice homes - saved a lot of old homes too - and then I don't know what happened he started selling some of them.  

I remember when he used to fight to save old houses that were on the demo list.  About 25 years ago he told me that development was going to come through here one day and Tremont was going to change - guess he knew what he was talking about.

I remeber when they bulit

I remeber when they bulit that strip center and even the firehouse, that was a big fight.  They wanted to close the old one and they fought for the new one and a "historic deisgn", I thought it looked oddly out of place and the what came after worse.  People that do not know what they are doing buta are in charge.  

This guy I like....

His work is correct, no other way to describe it.  

Then you have Morous and I think man he should have hired David, 

You see you have visionaries, then designers and then developer and then builders. 

If all these come together then magic happens,if not then its a calamidity.

The city really does not want to destroy things, it just looks that way. Thats because they have none of the skills. In the case of battery park, it looks great in the artists rendering, but go there….I said, oh my, they are not serious are they, then people buy them! Then they brag about them as if they are proud?

If I lay out a plan and then get David to designs the structures then begin to clear space are you guys or people like you going to get way up my ass? Because the finished product would be sweet. Then is the city and “council” going to suck there teeth with there hand out?

Tim…I went from econ 101 to 400 series, was it lost?

I agree unless you have a real good master plan and once it is done it stays that way. Why create historic districts and then build something that is not?

Thats why I had to move to Shaker its done, they just keep it up. But try to figure out why they have to pay 3.12% property taxes on 110% of the appraised value? No industry? It cost more so they pay more, they need to make more then it cost more.

I looked a 3000 sq ft double that was for sale for $24K in shaker the tax was $650 a month, you think it takes a little plan to fix what went wrong, it does not. They are going to try to keep it going, it will not work because the markets do not align.

What the city is doing is desperate, they have no vision they have no real plan, its not a secret it does not exist. If the homes are sell for a dollar by one and fix it up, then rent it. 

If you have a friend in the city that what people are doing, but the problem is they do not want to or have any interest in the neighborhood, it will not last and for sure somebody will tell you that the people buying the home are in a special program. UGH!









Lakewood could have used the same $$ down-the-drain approach being applied to Cleveland (see posts above).  With a vacant house on their hands and years of tax liens on the property, they could have demolished the house at the taxpayers expense, but they didn't. 

Instead, they used a creative approach, which involved buying back the liens, forgiving the liens and offering the property at a significantly reduced price to residents, who will make improvements to the property, pay taxes and live with a deed restriction that insures the property is a primary residence and that code violations are corrected within a certain time frame.

The article appeared in the Plain Dealer on Thursday, April 23, 2009 Sec E1

Dwelling's financial history a

complex trek through owners

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thank you to Susan Condon* Love for this great article.  I hope that someone...anyone in the City of Cleveland Community Development Department reads it and stops the HUD developer-driven demolition train wreck that has been set in motion here. 

Is Geniocity "blog" bogus?

Hello Laura, I went to your link to Geniocity ("for people who think" - obnoxious, my dog thinks) and Geniocity supports a google ad (lower right side right now) from - the dirty coal lobby.   What blogger "who thinks" would stoop subterranean to collect pennies for a coal lobby ad on their blog? People who think?
Do you, (or any reader out there) know any of the following persons who list themselves as the Genius Bloggers?  
The name Geniocity is awfully close to Generocity - the Downtown Cleveland Alliance "parking meters for beggars" developers.   Are these sites the work of Nancy Lesic, Genius Jack, or another PR firm in OHIO?
As the internet takes over from the newspapers and TV, you can be assured that the traditional lobbies for fossil fuels, etc., will infiltrate the web with camouflaged “blogs”.
At first sight, I think the veracity of Geniocity is questionable…this blog is a PR supported ad site ... please show me I’m wrong…






  I wasn't implying anything about the Geniocity site, but if you want my opinion...yeah, it's bogus and controlled. 

What I do fear is that any well-intentioned effort that tries for innovation gets subverted by GCP et. al. (I am sure Geniocity is well-intentioned).  Not trying to kill the horse before it even clears the gate, but we do have our political framework to deal with here in NEO.  (you got this comment started off on the wrong post, but that's okay by me). 

 I do not see that link




I do not see that link Jeff, to the coal lobby. It seem like they skim the surface on subject matter, I should talk since I get way too deep. A different sort of problem.

But I do not see a link or any Google adds at all? Is that the Google Chrome upgrade? I think its odd you see adds when I do not?

It’s a store front for artists with some journalism on it, and I agree with your dog. Nothing cutting edge provocative or even that entertaining. Carolyn Jack writing is fluffy drivel, hurray for the urban homestead, bet she lives in the suburbs and microwaves often! Maybe she drives a Lexus RS350...self professing geniuses often do.

She likes to write PC stuff particularly likes Obama and windmills, so the coal lobby thing is odd. But the hypocrisy is not a bad theory it just is not at all apparent or even relevant. Not that I have any room to talk about relevance.

I see a “nice” well educated well networked woman and not much genius, like many things on the net they are just for entertainment “personal” and that can include an agenda, I am sure that web site impresses some people, I am just not one of them.

Who wants a house? 2098

Who wants a house?

2098 Lark St, satisfactory two family, walking distance to rapid and buses, a grocery on the corner of the street.

Last day for bids 04/28/009 eligible for up to 35K in 203k streamline FHA financing.

Asking price is 35K….the home last sold for 120K in 2004.

It’s a HUD home, a privately owned home that was financed through FHA and defaulted. Why because at 120K and the potential rents and the taxes of $239.00 a month, the owner could not make it work.

Next door is 2100 and then 2104, both will foreclose one is already. That’s an entire corner of a relatively nice street. The corner of Plover and Lark, in historic Bird town.

The problem is try to get a loan for under 50K from a bank, they are not selling them. Why? They assume that if it under a certain dollar amount it not of any value? Dumb banks, in 2004 that home was appraised by them at 120K and now at 45K? Which is it? Then the county, clowns on roller skates, they and the city of Lakewood would tell you that you will be taxed at market value. Will they have the balls to tell you that the taxes are based on 120K or the 35K you paid for it? The federal housing authority appraised it at 45K who is a higher authority?

Property tax in Lakewood is 2.5%, Shaker is 3.12% I would love to buy up rentals at 1970’s prices and then really fix them up, not just average better than. Then rent them cheaper than average. Better for less?

Lark is full of rentals and people bought many of those multi-units at over 100K and they are dealing with high taxes and a tight rental markets. They have mortgages to pay and if a tenant leaves or worse looses their job then cannot pay, it all keeps sliding down.

They banks are refusing to finance under certain amounts with one hand and foreclosing with the other? Would you like to buy this for 35K but I cannot give you the loan? Dumb.

Your correct in comes Joe Shmoe and his team of racketeers, fix it up as little as possible and rent it to vouchers? Make a quick buck and create some tax write offs? Vinyl siding hollow core doors plastic fixtures and the cheap carpet.

Lakewood wants the homes to go back to 120K and they may but they need people that really care, not Joe Shmoes, that say what do I care I am not going to live here.

The class and the potential of renters, we are not all that are we? Every month it is like pulling teeth, then you get the needy delusional tenant that thinks you should wipe there ass for them, and they won’t consider wiping it otherwise.


The city should issue bonds and the fed should back them, no interest bonds that get paid back to the fed over time. Fuck the banks they only want to finance over 150K and to people with over 50K in household income.

I think that all of Bird Town should be renting for 350-500 a month but the 120K mortgages and the taxes are a recipe for disaster. I priced some rental apartments in that city and they cannot make money…the total costs of ownership exceed the rents. Hello they stopped being income properties, they looses money now. Many of them are teetering on the cliff.

Its huge society but over it all lays a mesh of mathematical functions, the cost of living must meet total income in propensity, not just for some. It actually is calculus and limits, ignoring them actually. It’s why it is collapsing. They are attempting to keep it above the limits with subsidizes, that a piper to be paid watch it all unfold.

The banks are doing dumb things still, housing is a core component of the cost of living function. We are missing the $350 a month housing.

The solution is under cutting with lower and or the lowest possible costs, they are still chasing higher prices and profits. You cannot subsidize it you can only finance it with no interest over time. That requires technology and innovation, not so much capital. It requires people that really care and are really willing to work.

Try to talk to the politician, they are either in a cloud or peeking from behind a cracked door.

Every person should represent a value and that should represent what they can afford, then everything get priced around that after all the obligations are meet, what is left? Most people are negatives they are not even meeting the needs, they are disenfranchised. That’s growing and all factor that did exits are still in force and they are attempting to bring it back! You need $700 each month to cover your costs and most cannot afford $450.00 oh that will work out.

The goal escape, earn enough to pay the $700.00 and then inflation….profit is bad just as bad as losses, it a breakeven that is missing and the line that defines, hmmm…wonder what it really costs?

They cannot just cut to the front of the line, offering the best for the least, in all truth and reality? How un-American would that be, think of all the lost industry. All of those people that earn a living adding no real value….remember when people used to have real nice desk jobs? Half of the costs could be replaced with a computer program. Competition is being manipulated. Lies do not add value!


What or were does it lead? We are all poor now except for the family on the hill with the electric fence?    


I live in the Collonwood area and there is one of these houses behind my house I would love to get the land after they tear it down so that I can expand my backyard who do I contact about that


 Who is your council person?  Coates or Polensek. 

Cleveland's abandoned HUD housing should be addressed in some logical fashion.  Look at Euclid--at least there is some plan of action. 

City knocking down homes 10 at a time

Thursday, April 23, 2009 By Susan Ketchum

Some properties where homes are demolished will be used for neighborhood gardens. Others can be split into half-lots and sold to neighbors. Still others could be kept as community parks.

If you have Polensek, you should be able to get some answer. 


Real-estate will fall and

Real-estate will fall and then stabilize, it will happen in stages. The value is set on incomes and relative buying power. It is reflected in averages of sales, the foreclosures and sheriff sales are not being averaged in today. Without those, you have 10-15% drops. With exception to the highest quintile, which is not affected.

The second stage is after the ignored sales in foreclosures and sheriff sales actually are in the market. Another 10-15% fall, depending on the quintile lower markets fall more, higher markets fall less.

It’s the incomes and abilities to finance that determine the price, the only legitimate determinate. Interest only and sub prime created false markets. Removal of that factor sets new benchmarks, what you can afford.

Municipalities would be wise to buy up as much as they can, restore in controlled measured areas to meet set market goals. Stability comes with incomes that are able to maintain the homes and quality that is desirable to them. It cannot be high risk, high prices have higher risk.

In areas that have 3% tax and then pay 5% on the principal, that’s 8% annually, it is not that good of an investment. Property taxes cannot and should not go beyond 1.5% interest is reduced by shorter terms and larger down payments.

You could say do what you can do for 1.5% do what is needed to make that work. If its merging with other cities and combining resources then do that. We have a process that when government gets involved the price goes up, not down, it is dyslexic.

Horse manure