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View Diary: Ending the Flood of Foreclosures:  Reform Financial Regulation (132 comments)

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  •  That so-called "Cleveland comeback" (2+ / 0-)
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    eru, dsc11

    of the 80s and 90s involved big, glitzy brick-and-mortar projects that did not provide economic development. Every single one of them has failed as an economic driver. The people behind Gateway (the baseball stadium nd basketball arena) claimed it would produce "28,000 good, permanent, career-level jobs." A few years later, they found it produced about 175 such jobs, and they just shrugged and went "Oh well." aevery new (tax-abated) hotel, the renovations of Tower City and the Arcades, the Galleria, of course the football stadium (they never had economic benefit ANYWHERE), the Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum — each and every one a failure in terms of creating ecoomic growth. Most were additional failures in that they sucked up tax dollars and resources better aplied elsewhere, such as the neighborhoods.

    Early estimates project Cleveland may have had the largest population loss in its history in the last decade. The neighborhoods have been completely ignored — and then, starting about 10 years ago, the foreclosure crisis started. Now they're gutted.

    Don't talk to me about Cleveland Heights. I live here. A decade ago, the number of empty homes was in the single digits. Now it's arond 1,000. I drive around and see the dark, empty homes every day. When I was canvassing for a city council candidate in the fall in one of our most upscale neighborhoods, I was shocked to see the big, elegant homes standing empty.

    The "attempts to revitalize" the area were always misguided, steered toward things that don't affect daily quality of life or create jobs. Unfortunately, the people who made these cynical decisions have now purchased our county government and are clearly making plans to throw away its citizens. The vultures are in charge finally, after more than 30 years of scheming that was set in motion by Dennis Kucinich's mayoralty.

    The second sentence of Jennifer's diary hit home for me — and shows how the foreclosure crisis is about so much more than "bailing out irresponsible homeowners," as some think. I lost my job, and given the horrible economic climate here, looked at relocating. But my condo's value had dropped so much – and even worse, condos like mine were sitting on the market for two or three years. I was basically stuck. I actually looked into commuting to Columbus each day where the market is stronger – that would have been five hours driving each day. But it was the height of $4 gas and the numbers didn't work. That was when high-speed rail really hit my consciousness!

    Fact is, these foreclosures pull the infrastruture and value out of entire neighborhoods and punish people who have paid their bills and kept up their homes. They also create transiency which has a massive impact on schools and students' ability to keep up.

    It's a nightmare. Our wonderful county treasurer, Jim Rokakis, was warning people a decade ago — and was ignored (actively opposed by our Republican legislator, which forbid cities from enacting remedies). I wish he were running for county executive but he's just been so beat up and has family issues.

    Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

    by anastasia p on Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 09:24:26 AM PST

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