Facing the foreclosure crisis in Greater Cleveland: What happened and how communities are responding

Report by Claudia Coulton, Kathryn Wertheim Hexter, April Hirsh, Anne O'Shaughnessy, Francisca G.-C. Richter, Michael Schramm
June 2010

Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development   (Cleveland)

The report weaves together previous research on foreclosures in Cuyahoga County with examples of community responses to the foreclosure crisis that range from government legislation to prevention initiatives.  More than 10,000 foreclosures were filed on residential properties in 2005. Many properties entered prolonged periods of vacancy, stuck either in the foreclosure process or in REO. Untended properties deteriorated and were vandalized. The value of housing plummeted, leading speculators to buy REO properties in bulk and for pennies on the dollar. African-American neighborhoods were particularly hard hit by foreclosures and the negative spillover effects. Local governments, nonprofits, and community groups in Greater Cleveland mobilized to educate potential home buyers, prevent foreclosures, and rehabilitate vacant properties. They have coordinated their efforts and responded strategically, using data to drive their actions. In addition, groups have worked to mediate issues on-the-ground and at the policy level, working to prevent this crisis from happening again.