City Commits $7M To Removing Blight

City Spends $7 Million To Remove Blight From Neighborhoods

'Moving Ohio Forward' Partnership Expands City Capacity To Remove Condemned Structures

Meeting its end-of-the-year deadline from the Ohio Attorney General's Office, the City of Cincinnati has committed $7 million in contracts for the demolition of condemned and blighted structures throughout the city's neighborhoods. The demolitions are part of the city's efforts to improve neighborhoods through a partnership with the State of Ohio Attorney General's Office's "Moving Ohio Forward" Program.

The Moving Ohio Forward Program is focused on demolishing blighted buildings to make way for reinvestment in each community.

The City has already demolished 298 buildings, containing 789 dwelling units in 2013. There are 240 more buildings under contract, for a total of 538 blighted buildings containing 1241 dwelling units, to be removed from neighborhoods. The demolitions are to be completed by May 31, 2014. For comparison, the City of Cincinnati demolishes approximately 70 structures in a year.

Furthermore, of the $7 million committed, 71.5% of the contracts have been awarded to Small Business Enterprises (SBEs).

For each demolition the City does, a building must go through a series of steps including: inspection, enforcement, condemnation, priority ranking, title check, hearing notice/advertising requirements, public nuisance hearing, historic hearing, demolition specifications, asbestos surveys, and asbestos abatement before demolition. For the vast majority of the buildings under contract, these steps are completed.

The demolitions will continue through the winter months, weather permitting, and also are dependent on the capacity of the contractors to meet their deadlines.

"It took a lot of city departments behind the scenes handling the necessary tasks day in and day out to make this monumental blight remediation happen," said Ed Cunningham, Manager of the City's Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Division. "Thanks to this dedicated teamwork we are improving property values and neighborhood morale, creating a better quality of life, and greater safety in our City."