Lorain cracking down on houses deemed as nuisance, dealing with backlog of 3,000 court cases

LORAIN, Ohio - "I'm depressed, I don't even walk by those houses anymore because I want to go the other way to stay away from them," said lifelong resident Sandra Butcher. 

When Sandra Butcher walks her dog, she stays away from t houses that are obvious eyesores.

Houses Lorain housing officials have deemed a nuisance near Kansas and Erie Avenues in Lorain.

The houses which have missing siding, collapsing roofs and open windows are just a sampling of 3,000 houses deemed a nuisance throughout the city.

The eyesores are just across the street from a grade school and homes well cared for, leaving residents like Butcher fed up.

Lorain has been demolishing and clearing away more vacant houses to create green space and hopefully trigger new development.

Mayor Chase Ritenauer is now stepping up enforcement from houses considered eyesores or a nuisance.

More home owners and landlords, who let their houses fall apart, are being cited and heading to court.

The city of Lorain means business and hired two housing inspectors,

Housing court will go from holding court once a month to once a week. 

"Even once a week isn't going to be enough. We need to hire a part time magistrate and a part time clerk and have them only dedicated to doing housing," Ritenauer said. 

Increasing enforcement and threatening court fines is having an impact.

"We've seen people painting the houses. We've seen people repairing the siding, repairing the roof, doing the things that need to be done.Tthe challenge is the sheer number of cases," Ritenauer said.

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