Talking Housing

It started off like a Bingo night.  Kristal Grida, from the Mayor’s Office, called out numbers.  She held up cards and folks hollered from the floor.  No game of chance, but this was a guessing contest for residents of Ward 5 to better understand rental housing in Euclid.

At this meeting on April 11th 2019, Kristal held up a card with the figure 15,600.  No one guessed this to be the number of parcels (lots identified for tax purposes) in the City.  But the residents eventually caught on and were able to identify 3,084 as the number of single family rentals; 7,000 units are individual rental apartments, such as the high-rise apartment buildings.

There are 2,219 Section 8 rentals in Euclid.  Low income families, elderly and disabled who qualify are offered a voucher to find housing in the open market.  A subsidy is provided directly to the landlord towards the actual rent and the family pays the difference.  The funds come from HUD but are managed by the local public housing authority.   Kristal said the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and the City have together honed a system to monitor the quality of properties as well as the conduct of landlords and renters.  This two-way reporting enforces the lease agreement and annoyance calls.

The City’s nuisance ordinance holds people responsible for matters that may not be a crime but can be aggravating, such as dog running loose or parking on the lawn.  When a call is for loud music, for example, the patrolman will verify the sound can be heard outside the house and issue a warning.  The third call, and each thereafter, results in a $200 fine.

Nuisance complaints extend to discarded items such as mattresses and tires left on the tree lawn for 48 hours.  A call about high grass (216-289-3906) brings a warning allowing 48 hours to rectify.  After, the City will mow for $200 – pointedly, it’s no bargain.

Garbage bins can be at the curb for 12 hours before and after collection.  Violators will find them in the middle of their driveway with a first time written warning. 

Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and Council President Charlene Mancuso responded to questions.

  • New resident packets are available at City Hall to welcome newcomers and explain our neighborhood rules.
  • Disabled folks may not be able to rake leaves or clean gutters.  In many instances, generous neighbors are there to quietly help. 
  • Blankets, sheets or other than normal window treatments are reportable violations to the Housing Department.
  • No commercial vehicles can be parked in residential areas; a small boat or van needs a permit.
  • Concern was raised about vacant stores, some that remained so for over a year.  The City’s efforts to promote the properties is sometimes hampered by an unreasonable asking price.
  • Low membership numbers led the YMCA to close.  The building is looking for a new use, but asbestos is a problem with renovation.  Some of the recreation needs will be filled when the new school construction becomes 18 hour facilities.
  • The Cuyahoga County Heritage Program offers free technical assistance and low interest loans for remodeling kitchens, basements and even driveways.  While the local EDCOR program has income restrictions, this one is available to all.
  • The Mayor has been assured that East 222nd Street will be open for the Memorial Day Parade.  The second phase of the Euclid Waterfront will wrap up in October.  The fishing pier will soon close for 2 months to tie it in with the new walkway.
  • Roy Larick and the late Dave Lawrence will be honored with a tree planting in Sims Park on Earth Day.

A university study of the quality City’s housing stock gave grades mostly of A and B.  Very few were given the lowest rating.  Housing built in the years the construction boom following WW II are similar in design.  Yet across the City there is a great variety of style in the houses found on the hill and along the Lake.  No McMansions here, but these smaller, affordable homes in walking distance from amenities are gaining appeal. 

Finally, Ward 5 Representative Christine McIntosh told how she and her husband Steve moved to this area 4 years ago.  They felt priced out of the housing on the westside and chose the value they found in housing in Euclid.  Now in her second year on Council, she closed the meeting with a reminder, “we all get farther with kindness”.

Patrick Henry

Euclid resident committed to the common good, strong neighborhoods and the health of our Lake Erie.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 10:36 AM, 05.05.2019