Greater Ohio Policy Center has conducted an independent analysis of an innovative model for neighborhood recovery being piloted in a Cleveland neighborhood, finding promising results for this block-by-block holistic approach to revitalization that combines demolition and rehabilitation.
Slavic Village, a neighborhood located 6 miles south of downtown Cleveland, represents many of the strengths and challenges that characterize our historic urban communities. An intact neighborhood with a rich cultural history and strong community institutions, it also experienced the highest foreclosure rate in the country in 2008, and increasing rates of poverty and unemployment.
Based on 2014 analysis, the GOPC study, Documenting the Slavic Village Recovery Project: An Early Review of a Model for Neighborhood Revitalization in Cleveland, Ohio, released in conjunction with the Slavic Village Recovery, LLC, (SVR) finds preliminary results for the SVR Project, including:
- Sales prices of the initial homes reached the targeted amount necessary to cover rehab costs and make a small $5,000-$10,000 profit; received an appraisal value above the listed $60,000 sale price; and sold quickly.
- Neighborhood morale is high and neighbors are positive about the project.
- Investment is taking place in the neighborhood apart from direct involvement with SVR, suggesting, perhaps, that SVR’s private sector partners created market confidence for new businesses and city and regional governments.
The Study also noted several keys to SVR’s early successes:
- A holistic approach to community development and a clear comprehensive plan, strategically linking demolition and rehabilitation.
- A focus on properties with value and the strong relationships needed to acquire properties from REO lists and banks
- A philanthropic mission paired with a for-profit approach in executing the mission
Based on the data available to date, GOPC finds aspects of this Project potentially adaptable to other neighborhoods in other cities, although the context for replication is important. Several key factors, such as a pipeline of available properties, must be present for replication and those interested in duplicating the model may need to take the time to get these factors in place first in order to be successful.
Recognizing the opportunity to stabilize and revitalize this still vital area, four partners—two non-profit and two for-profit organizations—came together in 2013 to create Slavic Village Recovery, LLC. SVR aims to eradicate blight entirely from a targeted area in the neighborhood and thus reach a positive tipping point one block at a time. SVR combines strategic demolition with housing rehabilitation, as well as resident support services, with the goal of achieving comprehensive redevelopment.