Housing inspection and code compliance should be top priorities

I hope whoever runs for mayor of Cleveland Heights recognizes that the city's future depends squarely on the condition of its homes and apartments. With most properties over or nearly 100 years old, combating deterioration is the top priority by far. 

The more that properties deteriorate, the less likely owners (particularly absentee) will be willing and able to make proper repairs, let alone upgrades—and the less likely responsible residents who seek high-quality housing will be willing to live in Cleveland Heights. This, in-turn, pushes remaining constructive residents elsewhere, which weakens property values and tax bases and forces ultra-high tax rates, which is more reason to go elsewhere. 

Since 1960, Cleveland Heights, along with all other inner-eastern suburbs, has had severe loss of property-tax base—ours amounting to a billion dollars. The loss is much the result of CH City Hall's decades-long failure to recognize that housing inspection and code compliance are its most important functions. The city’s sizable challenges—crime and violent acts, troublesome youths in schools and on the streets, weak patronage of stores and restaurants— all stem from that failure.
The next mayor, and council, will either get serious about this situation or they won’t. We rise or fall with their choice.

Tom Bier

Tom Bier has lived in Cleveland Heights for 50 years. 

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 4:45 PM, 01.30.2024