The East Side of Cleveland is experiencing a revival after years of dealing with the effects of the 2010 housing crisis. A 2018 study by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC) has found that in recent years the number of vacant and distressed structures has decreased substantially while housing prices have risen.
The organization conducted a similar study in 2015, in which they examined each of the 158,854 land parcels in Cleveland to appraise the conditions of the homes and the number of vacant properties. Using the results from the 2015 survey, the WRLC was able to identify 13 neighborhoods and 78,000 parcels as being at-risk, determined by factors like the percentage of vacant structures, the number of vacant lots in 2015 and the median housing prices between 2005-18. The study took 12 staff members approximately 10 weeks to finish.
The 2018 study surveyed 13 East Side neighborhoods, including Fairfax and Shaker Square, in an effort to help city officials determine which structures to demolish. WRLC also hoped to figure out the best ways to help the neighborhoods bounce back from the 2010 housing crisis.
The results of the 2018 survey show that the percentage of structures ranked D or F, which means that they are considered to be in deteriorated or hazardous conditions, decreased from nine percent to six percent between the 2015 and 2018 studies. Additionally, the percentage of occupied structures increased from 84 percent to 88 percent during that same period.
Some neighborhoods have improved substantially since the 2015 survey. The Slavic Village and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods have seen noticeable decreases in their number of D and F ranked properties. Furthermore, the median home sale price in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood saw an increase of 100 percent, going from $13,188 to $26,500.
Despite the positive findings, the results still need to be placed in context. Before the 2010 housing crisis, the average home sale prices on the East Side ranged from $75,000 to $80,000. While the increase of housing prices in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood is promising, the prices are still considerably lower than they were before the crisis, which suggests there is still substantial room for improvement.