Cleveland City Council fills financing gap on Clark-Fulton factory conversion to affordable housing
Cleveland City Council is plugging a financing gap for an affordable housing project in the city’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood, bringing a plan to transform a century-old factory complex a step closer to reality.
The Blanket Mills project in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood will create 60 low-income apartments. Costs skyrocketed during the pandemic due to supply chain issues and inflation, but with city council’s approval to tap into a million dollars of pandemic relief funds, the project is now on track to be completed next year.
Councilmember Jasmin Santana, whose Ward 14 includes the project, said the apartments will keep residents from being displaced as property values in the neighborhood rise.
"I get families constantly looking for apartments in our area and I don’t really have anything that’s affordable or really habitable, so what this is really going to do is help keep residents in our neighborhood," she said.
Nearly 40% of the neighborhood's population lives below the poverty line: well above Cleveland's median of 32%. But Santana said its proximity on the West Side to more affluent and gentrifying areas like Tremont, Ohio City and Old Brooklyn means property costs are pricing out longtime residents.
Santana said she's also optimistic for what the conversion can do for the neighborhood, especially as other catalytic projects like the Latin market CentroVilla 25, come to the area.
"This building has been an eyesore, just vacant, for over 20 years," Santana said. "So to be able to have this apartment building here, in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, it’s transformational."
The project will also include space for nonprofits to provide services and support, including a daycare.