It Takes an International Village: How Two West Side Neighborhoods in Cleveland Transitioned from Vacancy and Foreclosure to Housing Rehabilitation and Refugee Resettlement

Started Oct 22, 2019


Full course description

By scale and opportunity, the International Village uniquely presents refugee resettlement as a response to Rust Belt vacancy issues and thus warrants further inquiry. This descriptive case study follows a chronological timeline. The project emerged by 2014, but the challenges it seeks to address have been decades in the making. The case study details these contexts in the Stockyard and Clark-Fulton neighborhoods of shrinking Cleveland as well as the logic behind economic development strategies to resettle refugees to alleviate vacancy and property tax shortfalls. This case study illustrates the institutional components necessary for project formation and success—existing neighborhood resources and opportunities; the people and nonprofits leading the charge for housing rehabilitation and refugee resettlement; and the processes required for property acquisition, rehabilitation, and resettlement. Finally, the study elucidates successes so far attained and impediments to future success. Financial exigencies, recent political change, and local red tape reveal significant barriers.

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