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Survey of All Cleveland Properties Nearly Finished

A boarded-up house stands in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood. (Nick Castele / ideastream)
A boarded-up house stands in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood.

by Nick Castele

A survey of every property in the city of Cleveland is nearing completion. The project will take a snapshot of the city’s housing seven years after the financial crisis. 

For years, Cleveland has tried to estimate just how many houses and buildings in the city are vacant, abandoned or falling down—a legacy of the foreclosure crisis and the steep loss of population the city has experienced. 

The 2013 American Communities Survey by the U.S. Census estimates 21.5 percent of Cleveland’s housing units are vacant. The non-profit Thriving Communities Institute set out to do its own count. 

This summer, the group sent teams of people through the city to photograph and record the condition of each property. They’re expected to finish their survey this week.

“It’s not an entirely gloomy picture,” Thriving Communities director Jim Rokakis said. “There are some very stable neighborhoods in the city.”

He said surveyors found some neighborhoods were in better shape than the city predicted, and others were worse off.

“We’re also getting other information,” Rokakis said, “trying to overlay, do an overlay of crime data, an overlay of health data, to get a complete picture of just what all this housing data means.”

The full report will be finished in about a month, Rokakis said. The institute finished a report on properties the suburb of East Cleveland, and is also working on a survey in Dayton. 

nick.castele@ideastream.org | 216-916-6288