Buckeye | Cleveland, Ohio
A home repair initiative is at the heart of a vision to build wealth in Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood.
The events and the injustices of the 1970s came at a cost for Cleveland’s Buckeye neighborhood. White flight, block busting and redlining tore the neighborhood’s fabric and decimated its housing stock.
The 2008 foreclosure crisis and the Great Recession that followed ravaged housing wealth. Prior to the crash, median home prices mirrored those in the rest of the city. Buckeye’s median home price currently languishes at $27,000.
The neighborhood’s declining value has made it difficult for homeowners and landlords to access home-repair and renovation loans. Homeownership has dropped significantly. Over half of residents live below the federal poverty line.
Today, however, community leaders say a resurgence is possible. Buckeye is part of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. And it recently received a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from HUD.
Buckeye is also one of the Cleveland neighborhoods slated to benefit from the Opportunity Corridor. The project entails a three-mile boulevard designed to improve access and promote development of vacant and underused land.
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress has joined forces with Burten, Bell, Carr Development – named after three of Cleveland’s profoundly influential community leaders – to help rebuild trust among Buckeye residents after years of disinvestment. Together, the two organizations are leading a collaborative neighborhood planning effort to coordinate and optimize the neighborhood’s investments.
Home repair and rehabilitation are at the heart of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’ proposal.
The plan targets the area south of Buckeye Road. Cleveland Neighborhood Progress will manage the effort in partnership with Burten, Bell, Carr Development, CHN Housing Partners and other vital neighborhood stakeholders.
It calls for:
- New loans and grants to maximize investment from existing weatherization, home repair and lead-safe programs
- A "first-in" strategy that will attract other developers and additional investment
- Pre- and post-counseling support for new homeowners
Also planned is a pilot program to help residents purchase and rehabilitate single-family homes and Cleveland Doubles (two-story two-family homes). Fifth Third’s investment will help manage the appraisal gap in the neighborhood.
New owners will be able to live in one unit while providing a quality affordable home to another family. They’ll have access to landlord and small business training over the first 18 months.
The additional source of income will help new homeowners thrive and promote wealth building, and prevent displacement of Black residents.
“There's been so much work done to get to this point. We're so appreciative of Fifth Third and Enterprise recognizing the momentum and our ability to take this work into the southern part of the neighborhood, which we’ve all been anxious to embark on. This investment gives us the chance to do that.”
– Tania Menesse, CEO & President,
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
What Success Looks Like
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and its partners are confident their home repair and rehabilitation plan will send an important signal: the city and community development system are serious about investing in Buckeye.
Over the next three years, the plan will lay important groundwork and help Black residents build wealth.
In the next 10 years, community leaders envision Buckeye as a safe, affordable place to live for the neighborhood’s predominantly Black residents: a community with amenities you can walk to, the rise of new infill housing and excellent public transportation.
Looking to the next 25 years, the goal is for Buckeye’s homes to be indistinguishable from those in adjacent neighborhoods that did not endure decades of disinvestment. Buckeye will maintain its legacy and character, while offering residents a seamless connection to surrounding communities.