Two people speaking at a microphone in city council chambers.
Evan O'Reilly and Diane Howard came to give a public comment about the need to for rental assistance. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Public commenters had housing on their minds. They asked City Council to support more affordable and accessible housing for seniors, disabled, and low-income Clevelanders.

The Public Comment CLE website has all of the week’s comments and transcripts, edited by Cleveland Documenter Gennifer Harding-Gosnell.

Register to make a public comment or learn more about the process in our guide to public comment at Cleveland City Council.

Aging in place

Diana Cyganovich and Marge Misak, both members of the Cleveland West Side Village, a non-profit volunteer group of “seniors helping seniors,” said there is very little housing in the city that is both accessible and affordable for older residents wishing to stay in the communities they call home.

Cyganovich asked council to make Cleveland a truly age-friendly city making accessibility and visibility a standard in the city’s housing code for all new construction.

Misak asked Council to consider Cyganovich’s idea, and to make sure affordable housing continues to stay affordable by using a Community Land Trust to develop housing.

Those of us who would like to age in our communities are finding little, if any, age-friendly housing. Likewise for someone of any age with limited mobility. Where is the accessible housing?”

Diana Cyganovich

Watch Cyganovich’s full comment

Watch Misak’s full comment.

Rental assistance

Evan O’Reilly and Diane Howard of the Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality
Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Evan O’Reilly and Diane Howard of the Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality were at the microphone to advocate for the city using American Rescue Plan Act (APRA) money to create a city own rental assistance fund.

Over $108 million dollars in federal rental assistance has been dispersed by [CHN Housing Partners] since 2020, split between roughly 18,500 households…these funds have now been tapped out.”

Evan O’Reilly

Watch O’Reilly’s full comment.

Loan rejection

Cleveland resident Craig Guy

Cleveland resident Craig Guy shared that he was approved and then rejected for a loan by Key Bank for a home that was quickly sold to an out-of-state investor who offered just $1,000 more dollars for the home than Guy’s bid.  

If we have to continue to compete with outside organizations before consideration is given to home owners who want to improve the community, come to the community, and that’s personally, socially, and not just financially, we’re going to lose the battle to regain our streets, regain our communities.”

Craig Guy

Watch Guy’s full comment.

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell, Audio Producer

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell

Gennifer Harding-Gosnell, Freelance Audio Producer(she/her)
Gennifer is a news writer returning to her first love, radio. She holds a MA in Journalism from Kingston University in the UK, and has spent the last couple years as a Cleveland Documenter.