On November 29, 2012, ABC affiliate WEWS NewsChannel5 aired its second Building Better Neighborhoods live special during primetime. A segment during this special was on recent data released by the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development indicating increases in suburban foreclosures in the past year and how this impacts entire communities. Mike Schramm, a research analyst at the Poverty Center, and Frank Ford, the Senior Vice President of Neighborhood Progress, Inc. (a Poverty Center partner), were interviewed for this program.
NPI's Frank Ford explained that in 2012 foreclosures were up: 32% in Beachwood, 33% in Independence, 40% in Moreland Hills, and 40% in Richmond Heights. He cautioned that foreclosures often lead to vacant properties which reduce the value of neighboring residences and the overall tax revenue for the communities. Ford advises property owners to check the public records "even though things look fine on your street." He added that "they would find that some of the houses that look occupied are in foreclosure."
Mike Schramm cited a Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland study concerning how these vacant properties affect the tax base. "For every foreclosure, houses within 500 feet of the foreclosure, will yield a 4.6 percent decrease of its value," he explained.
The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development is a research center at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, a graduate school of social work at Case Western Reserve University.