CLEVELAND - One Cleveland neighborhood is trying to get rid of "cash for houses” signs posted throughout the area in a unique way.
Slavic Village Development is offering a voucher for a free cone at Daisy’s Ice Cream in exchange for each sign brought to its office.
“We were just thinking as a staff, 'how can you get on top of this and get the community involved in getting rid of, really, this blighting influence on our neighborhood?'” said Slavic Village Development Executive Director Chris Alvarado.
Not only are the signs illegal and an eyesore, Alvarado said they’re advertising predatory home buying that can drive down property values and lead to vacant homes, which the organization has been successfully combating.
This year, the number of vacant buildings in Broadway Slavic Village dipped to pre-recession levels for the first time, dropping from 1,256 in 2015 to 758 in March, according to Alvarado.
“They're interested in making a quick buck, buying cheap, oftentimes for 60 to 50% of the market value of the home and then selling it to somebody else, usually at market value without putting any investment into it,” Alvarado said.
He said he hopes the initiative encourages people to remove the signs while also supporting a local business.