I-Team finds taxpayer funded homes in shambles - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

I-Team finds taxpayer funded homes in shambles

Posted: Updated:
Toledo, OH -

Boarded up homes are an all too common site these days in some place.  But what if your money helped pay for one of these?

That's exactly what the I-Team found in Central Toledo.  Now we're digging to find out how this happened and what's being done to make sure your money is not wasted.

One of the hardest hit places is Hildebrand Avenue in Central Toledo, where several properties were owned by a group called ONYX  It's almost easier to find a boarded up home than one with people actually living inside. 

"When our houses went into foreclosure, a lot of people stopped paying their rent instead of going into escrow and doing it the right way," said Lashonda Gaston, who lived in an ONYX property.

Gaston did it the right way and today she still calls Hildebrand home.  She's on her way to home ownership. 

"I'd love to own my own home.  No more paying rent," said Gaston. 

He property like so many here were part of a project called ONYX, Organized Neighbors Yielding Excellence.  It was a community development corporation.  The idea was to build and rehab homes in Central Toledo.  Tenants would get tax credits with the hope that the tenants would turn into owners.   

<itemID>21</itemID><itemSlug>Iteam You Paid for It-PKG-21</itemSlug><objID>723516</objID><mosID>PILOT</mosID><mosAbstract> 

"The premise was absolutely remarkable. It was laudable at the time. And I think that principal is still good," said Linnie Willis, the LMHA Executive Director.  "That's why we're involved and try to move that forward it some respect bring home ownership to central city."   

All of the ONYX properties, 86 of them, went into foreclosure.  Willis and LMHA purchased 53.  Many of them looked like this and it turns out some were worse inside.

"We didn't get a chance to inspect all the units, had we done that we probably would not have taken the 53," said Willis.    

The Lucas County Land Bank took the others and they'll be demolished.  Some are already a pile of rubble.

"At the onset of the project and the building I don't think anyone projected or could have forecasted that this is how this was going to turn out," said Willis.    

As the I-Team found, in some cases all that's left is a vacant lot.  All of that paid for in part by you the tax payers.  Here are the numbers the I-Team found:   

Investors did put some money into the project, but so did the city of Toledo in the form of a HUD grant.  From old Toledo City Council ordinances, the city spent about $628,000.  But that's not the end of the tax payers dollars. 

It cost LMHA $16,000 to buy its 53 properties and they estimate it will cost about $1.5 million to rehab some and demo others.  That will come from a couple of grants, grants that are comprised of your money. 

It will cost the land bank about $195,000 to demo its homes.  Part of that, grant money as well. 

Williann Moore, the former president of the board of ONYX didn't want to talk with the I-team about the project.   A project some say did not work.

"I don't think so because look at what we went through," said Gaston.     

"To say it's waste?  It's a waste only to the extent that the goal or the dream was not fulfilled," said Willis. 

The dream now is to figure out what to do with these places.  It's too expensive to rehab them all, so LMHA will need to demo some. 

"That's tough.  We have sort of gone back and forth here with that discussion.  Certainly it is something we hate to see done," said Willis.  "A unit that was built 15-16 years ago, you expect it to last way into the future and that was the goal."

"It makes the neighborhood look bad, real bad," said Gaston. 

LMHA will not refurbish all the houses at once.  Right now they have 5 people targeted to be home owners, so those places will be rehabbed first. 

 

  • LocalMore>>

  • Perkins K9 leads Troopers to 188 bindles of heroin

    Perkins K9 leads Troopers to 188 bindles of heroin

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:45:01 GMT
    Nearly 200 packets of heroin are off the streets thanks to a K9 officer from Perkins Township. The state highway patrol called for the assistance of Officer "Uganda" during a recent traffic stop. Uganda was able to sniff out 188 bindles of heroin. They were all inside of a vehicle on the turnpike near U.S. 250. Perkins Township police posted this pictures to Facebook including a picture of Officer Uganda. No word yet on who troopers arrested, but Perkins Police, who assisted with the bust, po...
    Nearly 200 packets of heroin are off the streets thanks to a K9 officer from Perkins Township. The state highway patrol called for the assistance of Officer "Uganda" during a recent traffic stop. Uganda was able to sniff out 188 bindles of heroin. They were all inside of a vehicle on the turnpike near U.S. 250. Perkins Township police posted this pictures to Facebook including a picture of Officer Uganda. No word yet on who troopers arrested, but Perkins Police, who assisted with the bust, po...
  • 92.5 KISS FM host heading to Tulsa, OK

    92.5 KISS FM host heading to Tulsa, OK

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:32 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:32:58 GMT
    A local radio D.J. and morning show host has a new gig and he's leaving town. Sid Kelly has been on the air at 92.5 KISS FM for the past three years. He took over for Andrew Z. Two months ago, Clear Channel did not renew Kelly's contract. He's now preparing for a new gig in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You'll be able to hear him online, on K-Hits, starting Monday, August 11. Kelly broke the news to his followers on Facebook and says he's going to miss Toledo. The 39-year-old went to Ohio State and he's c...
    A local radio D.J. and morning show host has a new gig and he's leaving town. Sid Kelly has been on the air at 92.5 KISS FM for the past three years. He took over for Andrew Z. Two months ago, Clear Channel did not renew Kelly's contract. He's now preparing for a new gig in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You'll be able to hear him online, on K-Hits, starting Monday, August 11. Kelly broke the news to his followers on Facebook and says he's going to miss Toledo. The 39-year-old went to Ohio State and he's c...
  • Clarion slowly coming down as "At Home" opens next door

    Clarion slowly coming down as "At Home" opens next door

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:08 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:08:46 GMT
    The city of Toledo has big plans for the Reynolds Road corridor, and it's shelling out big bucks. Just last week, the city agreed to buy the site of the former Southwyck mall for $3M. That's if it can land a developer within 120 days. The designs call for a corporate headquarters. Southwyck closed in 2008. So did the Clarion hotel next door. The K-Mart next to that also pulled out, but today there's a welcome sign for some: A "now open" sign. It's on the front of the former K-Mart, showing of...
    The city of Toledo has big plans for the Reynolds Road corridor, and it's shelling out big bucks. Just last week, the city agreed to buy the site of the former Southwyck mall for $3M. That's if it can land a developer within 120 days. The designs call for a corporate headquarters. Southwyck closed in 2008. So did the Clarion hotel next door. The K-Mart next to that also pulled out, but today there's a welcome sign for some: A "now open" sign. It's on the front of the former K-Mart, showing of...
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Another pool of mosquitoes tests positive for West Nile Virus

    Another pool of mosquitoes tests positive for West Nile Virus

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:24:12 GMT
    We have received confirmation that another pool of mosquitoes collected has tested positive for West Nile Virus. This pool of mosquitoes was collected on July 22nd in Fives Points in West Toledo. The Ohio Department of Health says that there has been an increase in West Nile Virus activity throughout the state. Health experts say make sure you do all you can in terms of personal protection and eliminating mosquito breeding locations from around your home.
    We have received confirmation that another pool of mosquitoes collected has tested positive for West Nile Virus. This pool of mosquitoes was collected on July 22nd in Fives Points in West Toledo. The Ohio Department of Health says that there has been an increase in West Nile Virus activity throughout the state. Health experts say make sure you do all you can in terms of personal protection and eliminating mosquito breeding locations from around your home.
  • Breaking News

    Semi crashes into Tony Packo's

    Semi crashes into Tony Packo's

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:02 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:02:44 GMT
    A semi-truck crashed into Tony Packo's on Front Street in East Toledo.Toledo Police are on the scene and are urging motorists to avoid the Front and Consaul area. We'll have more information as it becomes available from our crews on the scene.
    A semi-truck crashed into Tony Packo's on Front Street in East Toledo.Toledo Police are on the scene and are urging motorists to avoid the Front and Consaul area. We'll have more information as it becomes available from our crews on the scene.
  • Chrysler reports July sales best since 2005

    Chrysler reports July sales best since 2005

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:53:05 GMT
    August 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 167,667 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in July 2013 (140,102 units), and the group’s best July sales since 2005.The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in July compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 41 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during July and its best ever July sales. Chry...
    August 1, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 167,667 units, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in July 2013 (140,102 units), and the group’s best July sales since 2005.The Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram Truck and FIAT brands each posted year-over-year sales gains in July compared with the same month a year ago. The Jeep brand’s 41 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler Group brand during July and its best ever July sales. Chry...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!