Ward 14 Code Enforcement Officer to help tackle vacant houses

(Plain Press, February 2007) Residents of Ward 14 concerned about a vacant or abandoned house now have a neighborhood resource person they can tap. Ward 14 Code Enforcement Officer Robert Rogers spoke at the January meeting of the Vega Barber Block Club about the process involved in trying to address the problem of an abandoned house.

Rogers warned that it is a long process, and residents should not expect to see immediate results. After receiving a call about an abandoned house, Rogers first goes to take a visual look at the property and talks to the neighbors about concerns they may have. He then works with the Health Department on environmental issues. He notifies the Building and Housing Department if the house needs boarding up. An interior or exterior inspection of the property can also be ordered. The law department can assist with obtaining warrants and with finding the owner of the property.

Rogers said his office will also work with elderly and low income residents to help them maintain their homes. Various assistance and volunteer programs are available to help. He noted one home on Bailey where donations and volunteers assisted a low-income veteran in fixing his house.

Asked about an abandoned house on W. 38th near Bailey, Rogers says he is aware of the house and the concern of neighbors of the proximity of the abandoned house to their home. Rogers said he reported the property to Building and Housing. He said one of the problems is lack of funding to demolish houses.

At a January 22nd news conference, Mayor Frank Jackson announced plans to allocate $3 million annually to demolish vacant housing. A January 23rd Plain Dealer article said Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney will ask the mayor to double that amount.

Rogers can be reached at the Tremont West Development Corporation office at 575-0920 or by e-mail at ward14code@yahoo.com.

 

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