Been round my block lately? Lorain’s story

July 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm 20 comments

ED Note I am sending these thoughts to the City for tonight”s meeting -

To the Administration and City Council, Community Development


Just take a walk across the park, from whence this city started – go west along 4th street – two blocks to my block of 4th street – you don’t need to go far to see Lorain and what has happened since those founding fathers platted the city from the corner of that little park….. Come take a tour —-

One Block on 4th street – what happens here on my block IS Lorain’s story


One school – Irving- closed by Lorain City School system – used as storage for two years- sold- rehabbed and now opening in the fall as a “Charter School” – gone is Lorain City Schools from my block- my taxes will pay for a neighborhood school at least and not a warehouse.

15 homes are on my block

4 rentals- ( 3 multifamily units)

3 empty homes- (2 of which are derelict)

8 owner occupied ( 6 of which have owners now that are considered senior citizens)

One home is of significant historical value- this home of one of the founding family members of this city – Gilmore- and still has a direct descendent under its roof. There are other homes that have historical value but their worth is fading fast

The remaining 7

4 rentalsOne good landlord, One bad , Two indifferent ,

3 of which are multi-unit rentals

One multifamilyused to be a single family home – one unit or another always up for rent – with a side business of car repair

One multifamilywith a temporary roof fix of a blue tarp with 2 by 4’s ( must work because that temporary fix has been there for at least 3 years. )

One multifamilyA GOOD multifamily rental with a landlord who is involved and keeps his property clean and a good neighbor.

One supposedly single family home rental ( used to be owner occupied until the owner died and couldn’t sell the house) The house has fallen badly into disrepair in two short years- more than one family in the house- broken storm window lay like solar panels on the porch roofs. The owner (Landlord) never available .


3 empty dwellings

One – Foreclosed( twice) now being dumped by the bank onto the market – for a great loss $13,000- a loss of over 50 thousand dollars since it sold in 2004 and effecting market values of remaining homes.

Two- derelict homes one scheduled for demolition the other vacant and derelict for 40 years !!!!!!!

The stats tell the tale the owner occupied 8 just over 50 percent …..but 80 percent of those owners are nearing their sell by date – What will happen to those homes – do you think after we are dead new young families will move in as owners or will they too become rentals? The history has shown, on this block, they become rentals! And remember seniors and income tax???

Of the remaining 7 homes
Nearly 60 percent are rentals( business of rentals) and 43 percent are abandoned/ derelict ….

Those who have looked out from the windows of City Hall the 7th , 5th and 3rd floor for the past decades – who can see this little block from those windows and those that walk out of the council chambers only have to open their eyes to see what has happened to Lorain- HER story is here and is still being written!

The ordinances have always been on the books- enforcing them is another “story”- Time to start!!!!

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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Charleston Village, city of lorain, personal opinion. Tags: , , , , .

Two days- “Help stop the rot” and “Take a Gamble” or maybe “rock” Time Lapse- July 3rd-Chris Ritchey

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Teleha  |  July 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    We’ll keep our fingers crossed, Loraine. However, don’t hold your breath.

  • 2. Brian  |  July 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I myself don’t really have an issue with the city trying to improve the housing stock in our city as long as it is “fair and reasonable”. I read in the papers that the city has ten grand to assist homeowners that are on fixed incomes repair their homes. That was laughable because that may do one roof, maybe two?

    I believe that the city is going to need a pool of about $500,000.00 per year of zero that should be earmarked for OWNER OCCUPIED HOMEOWNERS to make reairs.

    As it stands right now, I feel that the legislation is a knee jerk reaction to a symptom of the housing problem plauging Lorain and hardly a solution.

    If hiring inspectors was the solution, why hasn’t it worked in years past?

  • 3. Dennis Flores  |  July 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Why did Dave Williams, a 23 yrs. Health department employee transfer to the cemetery department? Did he feel that the health department was not functioning adequately? The Health Department is in a financial crisis facing a budget crunch and the $110.000.00 will help supplement 4 positions + $10,000 for supplies and City Magistrate Chris Cook’s office.

    This was the administrations answer for a better than doing nothing approach, “not a cure all” but a temporary solution to addressing a problem that’s probably going to take longer to fix then it did to happen.

  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Brian I agree being a senior citizen myself now on a fixed income I could spend that amount on just my home needs :)

    I just know we have to make some sort of a start……. along with 100 percent garbage pick-up – nuisance house ordinances and imho licensing of the businesses of rentals ( what I call conglomorate rentals)

    last month the morning journal carried two articles in two days
    we are now out of the 38 fires responded to this years by the LFD 10 over 1/4 of the house fires were to vacant and abandoned homes not acceptable – we are in a “bountiful of blighted buildings”
    we will see………… but as Mark said I am not holding my breath

  • 5. Brian  |  July 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

    The problem of SPENDING money to PAY FOR someone to be an inspector without having the TOOLS, like the funding to loan to our seniors is yet another WASTE of time and effort.

    If you were to hire me to work on your house and I showed up with only a pocket knife, how much do you think that I would get acomplished in a day? A week?

  • 6. Brian  |  July 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Dennis,
    The most likely reason why the person was transfered was because of the budget which you voted on earlier this year. The budget crunch for the health department that you brought up was made and approved by city council.

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Brian I get your point…. I suppose I look at this whole thing in a different light—– not so much the program or even the success of the program about which I have my reservations …… inspections are one thing, getting a positive result for the community is another and yes this program is just a tiny drop in the bucket ….

    I guess I see a success by the mere fact that finally TPTB get it that the way the housing issues – infrastructures of this town have been “not dealt with over the years” – they finally have had it hit them smack dab in the face …..

    This is what Rey Carrion said

    We have a massive problem in our hands! During one of our surveys conducted last week it was determined that one City block in the Central Lorain area has approximately 189 homes. 59 of those homes are vacant while 13 are inconclusive. These properties represent 38% of the block. And unfortunately, many of the remaining properties in the block do not meet the current Property Maintenance standards.

    I wonder how many of those homes are “rental” properties and conglomorate rentals…… For years you and I and others have tried and pointed out this is what is happening and it fell on deaf ears Foltin was in my opinion the worst of the bunch.A lot of the problems and the direcftion of the this city can be laid at his door……. remember those two added housing inspectors.and the broken homes article from the Chtonicle .that was a farce…….

    Rey also mentioned :
    The four major impediments to our economic development efforts include 1) Condition of public schools, 2) Condition of streets, 3) Safety, and 4) Condition of housing stock. Over and over, many developers that pass on Lorain state these four issues as the main reasons why they opt for other communities.

    Well DUH !!! we all knew that….. those of us in the trenches…….. maybe TPTB finally are starting to realize their livihood is starting to depend upon a healthy city … and maybe that is the success I am seeing with this program……. the people that spoke at the meeting were frustrated – passionate and wanting the city turned around and one of the biggest landlord conglomorates _ Kent Sutton – walked out and that said a lot to me.. ( bet he was on the phone though ;)

    Even with a pocket knife you can at least unlock a door :)

  • 8. Brian  |  July 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Loraine,
    I don’t dispute what the “new data from the recent survey” that Rey Carrion quoted indicates that there is a problem, I just flat out dispute the “new data”.

    Name one city block that has 189 homes on it. I want everyone out there to put their thinking caps on and find one city block that has 189 HOMES on it. Then find a single block that has 59 vacant homes on it and tell me where that is because most blocks don’t even have 59 homes on it.? Then explain why 11 homes that are inconculsive, which means they are not included, are included to come up with the 38% that was mentioned?

    I guess the city took the time to evaluate 189 homes to come up with the “new data”, but can’t use the “new data” unless it hires all these housing inspectors to do the job. There’s the problem in a nutshell!

    The “data” is nothing new. The city has bought and paid for numerous studies and I guess that the folks that work for the city have nothing else better to do than to create “new data” to justify their jobs.

    Here is the no brainer question of the day. If the city has already identified some make believe block with all of these problems in ONE OF THEIR surveys, which means that others were done also, why don’t they at least try to use the data that they have already collected and do something with it instead of hiring more inspectors?

  • 9. Brian  |  July 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

    “maybe TPTB finally are starting to realize their livihood is starting to depend upon a healthy city …” possibly should read “maybe TPTB are starting to realize their livihood is starting to depend upon finding ways to justify their jobs”

  • 10. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    “justify their jobs” .yeah that too!

    Yeah I was a little concerned about those numbesr re one city block. must be one hell of a big block…….. but who knows how they count ;)

  • 11. Brian  |  July 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I counted this morning a typical larger block on the cities south side. 24 houses per side per block, or 48 homes on average per block. Now, where the hell is a block with 189 ? I BET IT WAS A STREET that had 189 homes on it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Whew! I am sure glad we have such detail minded people running our city. Then TPTB wonder why the taxpayer is so skeptical of what it hears!!!

  • 12. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    yup I agree 189 homes on a block…… definitely a mis-peak I would think …….. I deidn’t do all my block ( square) because the school takes up a chunk of it ………..

  • 13. Brian  |  July 6, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The problem with the “mis-peak” is that I bet not a single council person batted an eye when the information was given to them and it was said by the guy whose job is now going to be tied to the $120,000.00 that he “got for himself” “to justify his job”.

    Now that we know that an average city block has maybe fifty homes, what was the PURPOSE of Rey Carrion telling council such information?

    I know you enjoy being able to DOCUMENT information, so do you think that Rey Carrion will give you a copy of the SURVEY of the CITY BLOCK with 189 homes on it and the supporing data so it can be posted on your blog? I would believe that maybe Henry might enjoy snapping a few pictures to document the condition of these homes NOW, and maybe about a year from now we can revisit the survey?

    I think you said that you wanted to lite a match under someones ars and I bet if you do that, you just might start a wild fire…

  • 14. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Well I will send an email………. :)

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Ok Brian I have sent out the email requesting the information :)

  • 16. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Brian I just spoke to the city – they are sending me a map but the one city block – wasn’t a “city block ” in the accepted sense of the word – how you and I and others would have understood it to mean ….. it looks like it is/ was a survey area or to block …… ( thespians will understand the block and blocking :) blocked out of the whole ( took in more than one city block) as you and I read it to be

    Ah the English language what a marvellous thing it is – but they are sending me information UNLESS ( CRA ) they don’t ……… big :) Cheers Loraine

  • 17. Brian  |  July 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    This may be interesting…. If any of our council people read this blog, they must have known that already about the whole “block thing”. I guess that makes me a “block head”, the kind that is all encompassing and has 189 brain cells compared to the normal 50!

  • 18. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I also received a pdf file of the survey area and legend but I know you can’t open pdf I will see what I can do to change it into a jpg .too hot tonight though I am shutting down after spending the day and evening with Braedyn…….. ;)

    well not that they admit to it but some council people read this blog those that do so from home because this blog is “blocked” from the city server :)

  • 19. Brian  |  July 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I am interested in knowing what is on the survey AND if the 189 homes were already evaluated, why do they need inspectors to go out and evaluate them again???????

    I guess that is what happens when folks have to justify that they are doing something, productive or otherwise, to justify their jobs!

  • 20. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Brian from what I have seen just glancing over the map- this was more of an “inhouse cursory survey” .not an inspection survey per se.
    a bit like checking the refrigerator to see what you need to buy :) you will see they had difficulty determining whether some of the homes 13 in this survey were “inconclusive” as to habitation…… it really is not an in depth inspection survey…..

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