Saving Cleveland’s neighborhoods

Quite a bit has been written by the national media about how the foreclosure crisis has impacted Cleveland. Many of the stories focus on the Slavic Village neighborhood, as does this one.

This article from Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is one of the best, as far as I’m concerned.

It explains the second wave that is now hitting the city – investors who buy foreclosed properties for next to nothing and try to flip them

“Now outside investors have descended on Cleveland; they pick up properties for the price of a large flat-screen TV and then try to sell them for a profit.”

It also describes how entire neighborhoods are being destroyed.

“In the ensuing years, the city’s real estate was transformed into an Alice-in-Wonderland-like landscape. Local officials began keeping track of foreclosed homes by placing red dots on large wall maps. Some corners of the map, like Slavic Village, are now so packed with red dots they look like puddles of blood. The first question outsiders now ask is, Where has everyone gone?”

Author Alex Kotlowitz is well known for his great journalism on urban issues. He is the author of “There Are No Children Here,” a book about two young boys growing up in a Chicago housing project, as well as a number of other books and articles.

This story is on the long side, but well worth the read for anyone who wants to know how this issue could impact them and their home, and what the city is trying to do about this enormous problem.

I was able to read this online, but my friend had a hard time, I’m hoping this link will work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/magazine/08Foreclosure-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=2&emc=eta1

-KG

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