Homeowners Resist Plan To Scale Down City

Officials in Youngstown, Ohio, hope to save money and strengthen their community by vacating sparsely populated neighborhoods, but homeowners in the targeted areas are reluctant to leave -- even with the city's $50,000 incentives.

"When the city of Youngstown, Ohio, proposed incentives to move people out of declining neighborhoods, it sounded like a good idea - in theory.

The city hoped to lure holdouts living on nearly empty blocks and relocate them to more lively areas, as part of its plan to remake itself in the wake of the steel industry's departure and the foreclosure crisis. It's already cleared some lots for things like playgrounds.

Now Youngstown wants to close entire streets and bulldoze abandoned properties so it can shut down city services like street lighting, police patrols and garbage pick-ups that it can no longer afford to maintain.

To do this on a large scale, the city needs to get about 100 residents to relocate. Each is eligible for $50,000 in incentives - plenty, in this town, to buy a new home and move. The hitch: Youngstowners don't seem to want to leave their homes, no matter how blighted or abandoned the neighborhood may be."

Thanks to John Byrne

Full Story: You Can't Pay Them Enough to Leave


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