Standing on the front steps of a dilapidated property on the west side of Cleveland, mayoral candidate Justin Bibb has denounced property management firm Holton-Wise and others like them that profit from exploiting historically underserved communities .
Holton-Wise is among the most grotesque of these operators in Cleveland. Bibb’s press conference opened with a video in which Holton-Wise gleefully defends the merits of “investing in the ghettos”. Holton-Wise has also produced quality graduated maps of Cleveland neighborhoods that closely align with maps of historically demarcated neighborhoods. (In Holton-Wise maps, areas classified as “D” or “F” are color coded in red and referred to as “war zones.”)
Bibb said these cards, the Holton-Wise merchandise that glorified slum lords – “I ♥ EVICTION” read an exposed t-shirt – and the general practice of investing in Cleveland’s most vulnerable neighborhoods only to let the properties disintegrating before selling them for a profit, was an example of a “modern day red line”.
“It makes me sick,” Bibb said. “So today I stand with the locals in saying it’s time to evict Holton-Wise from our town. Under my leadership, I will fight against the real estate bullies who have been operating with impunity for far too long. long time.”
Bibb said his plan would put people first. He said he would start holding property managers accountable from day one and was ready to get rid of businesses that are destroying neighborhoods and making residents invest in their own communities. He said he would partner with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to enforce the Fair Housing Act and investigate civil rights violations, work with city council to pass legislation on payment for stay in order to protect the rights of tenants, take legal action against landlords who do not register. rental housing and expand housing and building codes to apply to third-party agents.
Bibb was joined by former city council chairman Jay Westbrook, who recently endorsed Bibb, and Ward 6 community leader and fair housing council member Bob Render, who came up with various solutions – up and down there. including a class action lawsuit against Holton-Wise – to hold predatory lenders accountable.
Render spoke to Scene after the press conference and said he believed the building and housing department was in disarray right now. He said that one of the reasons he was so excited about Bibb as a mayoral candidate is because he was convinced Bibb would bring with him smart leaders, leaders who would strengthen the city departments that are currently in need. power and resources but which have long suffered from mismanagement. .
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