Fix'm Up or Tear'm Down

February 14, 2022. City Council asks Cleveland Department of Health for an explanation of the Poisoned Houses cases in the neighborhoods. Watch here starting at 57.49.

April 6, 2022 Missing data returns! You can now look up all the Properties with Notices of Non-Compliance/Orders to Vacate for Lead Hazards (Poisoned Houses).

April 18, 2022. WKSU. Cleveland City Council wants better system for tracking nuisance complaints. Will the city step up?. " 'Maurer said it would be more efficient if residents could track complaints without the council member doing it for them. 'I want to live in a world where the council doesn’t manage these things,' she said. 'I don’t live in that world. An incredible proportion of my day is spent tracking down which inspector did what. It would be incredibly helpful.' "

October 11, 2021

CLASH says: Fix’m Up or Tear them down.


Tonight, Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing (CLASH) will demand immediate action to repair or demolish lead poisoned houses in Cleveland. CLASH president Yvonka M. Hall will address the issue at the Citizen Comment period at Cleveland City Council.


Today, there are 418 lead poisoned houses in Cleveland neighborhoods according to the Ohio Department of Health. Each house has been the scene of a lead poisoning. Following an inspection, property owners were served with a Lead Hazard Control Order by the Department of Public Health, and none has been remediated. None, to the best of our knowledge has ever been taken to court.


There they sit, many with deteriorating lead paint spreading to surrounding homes. Many are occupied by families with children, despite Health Department warnings.


According to a windshield survey of 323 of these homes conducted by CLASH volunteers last spring, warning placards have been removed from 227 of these units and 127 are occupied.


In August, Channel 5 reported on a family living in a placarded home in Ward 5 The family had been waiting for 2 years for funding through the City’s Lead Hazard Control program. Sadly, the family learned that the property no longer qualifies for City funding because the poisoned child turned 7 years old while the house was on the waiting list for lead abatement.


CLASH demands that the city of Cleveland take four steps to remove these superspreader homes from the neighborhoods.

  1. Re-placard all of the houses on the State’s Poisoned House list. In 2018, it took a court order to force the Department of Public Health to placard all the poisoned houses. At the time, it was ordered that houses be checked annually to assure that signage was still posted.

  2. Relocate families living in placarded houses as provided for in Section 240.09 (d) of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Cleveland.

  3. File a complaint against each property owner who has failed to comply with an outstanding Lead Hazard Control Order. Cleveland Housing Court can determine the appropriate remedy to the problem.

  4. Where owners fail to respond to a court summons, file a receivership action under ORC 3767.41 or and ask the court to appoint a receiver to determine if the house can be rehabilitated or must be safely demolished according to RRP standards. Local CDC’s should be given first priority for appointment of a receiver.

February 14, 2022. Testimony before the Council Health Committee raised more questions than answers.

Council's Health committee invited Acting Director Brian Kimball to give an overview of properties with outstanding lead hazard control orders (LHCO). An LHCO is issued when a the Health Department determines that a child was lead poisoned because of lead hazards in the home.

Kimball revealed that CDPH has a list of 350 placarded properties that it is monitoring every 6 months. (There is a discrepancy between that figure and state records).

Kimball reported that some of the placarded houses go back to 2016, but implied that none has been taken to court, He offered two explanations. Law Department says some cases are "too old" to bring to court and Law Department says some have incomplete information. Kimball told the committee that CDPH staff are working with Law Department staff to come up with a new protocol for processing cases against non-compliant landlords.

CLASH expects more info on placarded houses at the 2022 General Budget meetings in the next two weeks.