FutureHeights to host vacant and abandoned properties forum

This home in University Heights was demolished last month. It had been vacant for several years.

FutureHeights will host a public forum, Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd.

As Northeast Ohio climbs out of the housing crisis, many Cuyahoga County communities are still dealing with issues of property abandonment. This panel presentation and discussion aims to help attendees understand the basics about vacant and abandoned properties, help translate applicable laws and policies, and discuss existing options and solutions.

The discussion will focus on answers to the following questions:

  1. What is a vacant and abandoned property, from a legal perspective?
  2. What are the legal pathways to remedying an abandoned property?
  3. What community actors have tools to remedy abandoned or nuisance properties? What are these tools? How do they work?
  4. How do community actors know when a property is vacant or abandoned?

Presenters include April Urban, a research associate at Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development; Kermit Lind, clinical professor emeritus at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University (CSU); and Mark Wiseman, University Heights City Council member and principal of Wiseman Consulting.

Urban specializes in property research and consultation, focusing on code enforcement, foreclosure and REO (lender-owned) properties, and works closely with the community development industry to provide data and technical assistance in neighborhood stabilization. She enjoys projects where she can work to aid communities in building their capacity to work with data, helping teach them how to use information to improve their practices and better the lives of people impacted by their work. She is a University Heights resident, currently serves on the board of FutureHeights, and volunteers with Open Cleveland, Cleveland’s Code for America Brigade.

Lind worked as a community organizer and director of nonprofit fair housing advocacy and civic organizations before starting the practice of law in 1987. His clinical law practice at CSU serves mostly inner-city housing and neighborhood-development clients.

Wiseman has held several public service positions, including director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program, assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection Section and member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. Clients of his firm have included Cleveland’s Neighborhood Progress Inc. and Neighborhood Housing Services.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 4:31 PM, 02.27.2017