In Cleveland, Ohio, groups of advocates as well as area service providers have suggested poor communities have additional funding, in accordance with the introduction of the HEARTH law. There is growing concern high poverty neighborhoods will be hurt by these new regulations and unable to access funds.
According to law, communities have to meet guidelines in order to qualify for additional funding from HUD. Within the past ten years, the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County has received additional funds in order to assist communities and combat homelessness. Additionally, this funding has increased housing capacities while implementing new housing programs each year.
The HEARTH Law requires additional bonus HUD dollars to be utilized by communities which obtain “High Performing Community” status. Therefore, in order to qualify, communities are expected to decrease the length of homelessness by 10%, introduce HMIS throughout every program and introduce programs which will serve youth and families.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development shut its doors on its program which allowed both the city and nonprofits to manage foreclosed homes. “They’re now dumping distressed properties back on the market again with reckless disregard for the community,” said Cleveland’s Councilman, Tony Brancatelli.
HUD said the agreement ended because “the terms were satisfied.” The agreement had given the city and/or nonprofits, first opportunity to buy homes valued at $20,000 or less for $100. HUD reported the agreement had resulted in the selling of roughly 440 properties.
The agency said, “…HUD remains committed to addressing the foreclosure challenges in Cleveland and across Ohio. We are actively working to build on the success of the city program and to expand it.”
However, Cleveland never received an actual reason why HUD ended the program a few months ago. “We were surprised, shocked and disappointed,” said Cleveland’s Assistant Director for Community Development, John Wilbur.