Youngstown City Council approved the final report three weeks ago
by: Stan Boney
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 / 10:14 PM EDT
Updated: March 24, 2021 / 10:30 p.m. EDT
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In developing a strategy to improve Youngstown’s housing, people were asked what is the most important housing problem Youngstown is facing today. “
The answer contained in a Final report, contains these comments: “Rents, group houses, slum lords, real estate values are so low, school system poor, taxes cannot be compared with quality of life.”
Youngstown City Council approved that Final report Three weeks ago. Now is the time to take advantage of it.
Councilor Basia Adamczak took a stroll down Inverness Avenue with First News host Stan Boney. She says it is “one of the more stable neighborhoods in the 7th district”.
She points to the only property within three blocks that has an empty house demolished. Today the neighborhood is stable.
“Unfortunately, it is almost at this tipping point that we need to try to address some of the issues and concerns,” said Adamczak.
Adamczak brought them with him 140-page report on Youngstown’s strategy to improve housing conditions.
“I like that there is a plan now instead of just demolishing houses. Also save houses and help those who have code enforcement issues, ”she said.
Ian Beniston runs the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, which was a major influence on the housing report.
“It’s the city’s first comprehensive housing strategy in decades,” said Beniston. “Consider things like renting, registration and inspection, helping low-income homeowners, creating more homeowners, encouraging new home development, and renovating vacant homes.”
An example of the vacant homes mentioned by Benistion is on Glenwood Avenue. It’s over 100 years old, with granite stone cladding, hardwood floors, a fireplace with built-in shelves, and an original antique cool box.
Beniston also mentioned making Youngstown a community reinvestment area. Columbiana created one and eliminated property taxes on new builds for 15 years and started a real estate boom.
“That could be done here as well and will hopefully be considered in the future. But we can’t just say, “Oh, the schools aren’t good enough. We shouldn’t do this or that. ‘It just becomes a different kind of excuse,’ he said.
The demolition will continue to be part of Youngstown’s housing strategy. There were around 5,000 vacant buildings in the city 15 years ago, according to Beniston. Today there are 823.