Research from NEO CANDO and the Mandel School's Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development has become a critical part of a local effort to address the housing crisis in Cleveland. On February 13, TV reporter Joe Pagonakis provided a behind-the-scenes look at recent foreclosure figures in northeast Ohio.
The school has received national recognition for dissecting the data that shapes public policy and legislation in fighting the foreclosure crisis, and now ABC-affiliate NewsChannel5 is taking it one step further.
"We have not yet turned the corner on picking up the pieces and sweeping up from this crisis," said Poverty Center Co-Director, Professor Claudia Coulton.
Coulton showed NewsChannel5 how center staff members and Mandel School students research a 17-county area so that lawmakers and government officials have the latest information to respond to the crisis. In an effort to draw attention to the issue, local residents are being encouraged to report vacant/condemned homes in their neighborhood through the NewsChannel5 Building Better Neighborhoods initiative.
Additional coverage was done by MSNBC and former Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis used these numbers from NEO CANDO on vacant houses the following day when explaining the need for federal funds for demolishion (see the Channel 5 and Cleveland Plain Dealer articles).
When Channel 5 initially reported the numbers, the Cleveland and Cuyahoga data were reported together, in essence, counting Cleveland twice. The County vacancy number is more than 26,000 according to postal data combined with City of Cleveland vacancy data and the number for Cleveland is 16,000 using rounded figures.
Parcels touched by foreclosure was quoted countywide at 102,000 but again this double-counted the 35,0000 in Cleveland. The County as a whole had 68,000 homes touched by foreclosure, rounded to the nearest thousand.