Toledo to address urban housing after I-Team investigation - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo to address urban housing after I-Team investigation

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  • I-Team finds taxpayer funded homes in shambles

    I-Team finds taxpayer funded homes in shambles

    Thursday, February 13 2014 6:30 PM EST2014-02-13 23:30:37 GMT
    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
    The I-Team has uncovered boarded up, taxpayer funded homes in Central Toledo.  They were part of a community development program.  After foreclosure, many are either boarded up or a pile of rubble.  Some will be rehabed, others knocked down. 

An I-Team investigation is getting the attention of Toledo leaders.  Could a new urban housing plan be on the way for the city of Toledo in the wake of that investigation? 

Last week we told you about tax payer funded homes in Central Toledo most of which are now abandoned, some demolished.  And Wednesday talk of some action.  Talk today of trying to make sure your money isn't wasted as some say it has been in Central Toledo in a housing development run by a group called ONYX. 

More than 80 homes in that project went into foreclosure and then into disrepair and your tax money went into funding these.  The idea was to turn renters into home owners, but largely that did not happen.

So Wednesday City Council's neighborhood committee met to talk about an urban housing policy.  The city's role in the past was to issue the money, make sure the project was complete and that was it.  No follow up to see whether the project was succeeding.

Now there was talk of making sure the city follows through, making sure residents are still able to maintain the homes.  All in an effort to make sure tax payer money does not get wasted.

"We've always felt that federal CDBG and HOME and other monies were kind of like Monopoly money.  It's really not real money but it is real money," said Toledo City Councilman Jack Ford (D). 

"The city could have definitely been a bigger partner along the way in these projects in looking at the day to day operation even though we don't really have a legal hammer, per se, on how they're managed on a day to day basis," said Tom Kroma with the Department of Neighborhoods.   

"These mistakes were preventable the problem with it was no one had the political will to  prevent them, no one had the political will to say ‘No".  And so we kept throwing good money after bad into these projects and now we're looking for someone to blame.  We're all the blame," said Mayor Michael Collins.   

The I-Team will keep following this story to see whether a plan is actually put into place.

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