A photo of Ward 3 resident Marge Misak asking council to raise housing accessibility standards during the public comment section of the May 8, 2023 Cleveland City Council meeeting.
Ward 3 resident Marge Misak asks council to raise housing accessibility standards. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Karima McCree-Wilson and Regina Samuels

Accessible and affordable senior housing: Two public commenters spoke to City Council about the need for affordable, age-friendly housing. Diana Cyganovich and Marge Misak belong to Cleveland Westside Village, a volunteer community that aims to help people age in their homes. They urged City Council to raise accessibility standards in the city’s housing code. “Cleveland is an age-friendly city according to AARP [American Association of Retired Persons] and the World Health Organization, but are we really?” Cyganovich asked. Accessible housing should include at least one entrance with no steps and first-floor living, she said. 

Keying in on home loans: Ward 2 resident Craig Guy spoke about “unethical, questionable practices” by KeyBank. The bank initially approved the home loan application he and his wife recently filed, only to later reject it without explanation, Guy said. The Slavic Village home they wanted to purchase was sold to a cash buyer who didn’t intend to live there, he added. “We invest in the homes we want to live in. We invest in Cleveland. If we continue to compete with outside organizations…we’re going to lose the battle to regain our streets, regain our communities.”

Utility bill relief: Council introduced legislation to offer some residents relief from utility bills. The plan calls for using up to $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to cover overdue electric and water payments. 

Read the Twitter thread by Documenter Regina Samuels:

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Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.