Ward 10 Councilwoman Kelli Crawford announced to Council applause last night that the city has agreed to demolish 29 dilapidated houses on Laird Street in East Akron.
Crawford and area residents met with the city’s Housing Appeals Board on Saturday and asked for the demolition of 35 houses. She cited criminal activity at the abandoned properties and declining home values from creeping blight as justification for tearing down the mostly vacant homes. The board approved demolition of 29 of the 35 houses. Six of the property owners contested the demolition and will be given an opportunity to improve the properties.
“Boarded-up homes that are falling apart and mostly vacant are more than just eyes-sores. They make neighborhoods undesirable, which decreases property values and, in turn, erodes the tax base,” said Crawford. “It’s a win-win for residents and the city when uninhabitable houses are demolished.”