Home Small business financing Slavic Village owner talks town’s initial pandemic funding plan

Slavic Village owner talks town’s initial pandemic funding plan


CLEVELAND — Meeka Compton was finally able to own her home in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood just three years ago and now hopes the city will use millions in US federal funds to help others achieve the same dream.

Compton told News 5 that the City of Cleveland should invest more money to try to repair and save distressed homes as the Cleveland City Council drafts a $56 million ARPA spending plan June 27.

“Start fixing some of these houses that can be fixed, not just tearing them down,” Compton said. “There are so many houses that can be saved.”

“There are many ways to use this money, also for more law enforcement, education, tutoring, financial literacy for adults and homeownership programs that actually work.”

Slavic Village resident Ed McDonald, who has used his drone to film videos of distressed vacant homes for the past few years, believes federal pandemic relief funds should also be used to promote the growth of small businesses. businesses, especially along commercial corridors like Fleet Avenue.

“If you start pumping money into making some of these storefronts look good, and the insides of these buildings look beautiful, and you try to renovate them so they’re salable, we can have viable businesses. in this neighbourhood.”

Cleveland City Council Speaker Blaine Griffin said the city council is in ongoing contact with Mayor Justin Bibb and his administration to develop a final plan, which he says could be ready for a council vote in late August. or September. Griffin said the current draft plan is to be reduced to $53 million and could include up to $35 million in various forms of housing assistance.

“We have a catastrophe right now, we have a catastrophe in housing insecurity,” Griffin said. more stable and affordable housing, where they can become owners. There needs to be a sense of urgency to deal with the crisis.

Cleveland Ward 7 Councilwoman Stephanie Howse told News 5 that she hopes the final plan will focus on children, families and seniors.

“Also educationally, understanding that many of our children are several years behind and how to prepare them, not just for today but also for the future,” Howse said. “How are we thinking through our municipal services and even working with our county partners to re-engage our seniors in new and innovative ways.

In May, Bibb announced 10 priorities in the use of federal ARPA funding, including:

Stabilize the budget: The ARPA funds were primarily intended to help cities replace revenue lost due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Inclusive economic recovery: We are moving away from managing decline to making investments that drive growth in Cleveland neighborhoods that have been overlooked or excluded in the past.

Housing for all: Affordable housing and investments that stimulate wealth creation and home ownership.

Violence prevention and public safety: A comprehensive approach to public safety invests in initiatives that address the root causes of violence and crime. We need to invest in proven programs that focus on proactive intervention and prevention.

Bridging the digital divide: Thirty percent of residents do not have access to the Internet or reliable Wi-Fi or broadband services. We are committed to making targeted investments to bridge the digital divide and make internet access more affordable and accessible.

A Modern & Transparent Town Hall: Cleveland residents deserve a responsive city hall that embraces best practices in voter engagement. Achieving this requires investing in new technologies, services and process improvements.

Education for all: From newborns to adult learners, from students to CEOs, improving education is the foundation of our future. We must support learning at all ages, inside and outside the classroom to improve literacy rates, college readiness and work readiness.

Cleveland Unleaded: Cleveland faces a lead crisis. Nearly 90% of our housing stock was built before lead paint was banned. We must put an end to this public health emergency and make properties lead-free to ensure that no more children are affected by the dangers of lead exposure.

Neighborhood arts and amenities: Cleveland is a booming city and our arts, recreation, parks, cultural treasures and other amenities should reflect that.

Civic Participation Fund: Cleveland’s 17 neighborhoods can identify important neighborhood projects and advocate for change at the hyperlocal level in partnership with the city council.