Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Organizations Plan to Give Cleveland Area Homes To Immigrants

I gotta admit to not knowing many details about this but I have a few thoughts, both positive and negative.

The solution is The Discovering Home Program, which is a joint effort by the Cuyahoga Land Bank and the International Services Center.

Together, they want to turn neighborhoods around by offering struggling immigrants housing. The refugees will have to agree to fix them up. The hope is that families will take great pride in their homes and help stabilize neighborhoods. Many believe it is a win-win situation

Right off the bat, I'm impressed by any efforts in the Cleveland area to not just obsess over everyone leaving, but attract new residents. Any thinking in that direction is a big plus.

I also, see that ownership is to be gained by fixing up the homes. Here, I have some pretty strong doubts. If no cash investment of any kind is made, one is likely to repeat the same kind of easy come-easy go buyers with no equity that helped create the housing mess. Remember that in many cases, you will be asking people to move into shaky and damaged communities in a region with abundant low cost housing.

I have doubts that incentives like this will draw people who find the homes and neighborhoods of real value since price alone is the main draw.

Contrast that, for example with efforts to attract artists who see the benefits of living in a place with lots of other creatives.

That being said, many larger immigrant families would fit well with single family housing stock.

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