Vacant units on the property are being torn down in advance of the summer 2024 deadline Euclid Beach residents were given to find another place to live.
“It’s a tough situation because we have demolition going on all hours of the day 3, 4 o’clock in the morning, weekends,” said Anthony Beard, who has owned his mobile home for 17 years.
According to the Euclid Beach Neighborhood Plan, 28 acres of the property occupied by mobile homes will be converted to green space to increase public access to Lake Erie.
“As they begin to demolish, it’s releasing all animals, mice, raccoons, groundhogs, skunks. It’s a horrible situation,” said Beard.
The property is owned by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Matt Zone, the nonprofit’s senior vice president and director of thriving communities, said only vacant units are currently being demolished.
“There’s 118 units on site,” said Zone. “We have appraisals for over 75 of them. When we took over ownership, there were 22 abandoned units already in the park. We have heard from many residents in the park who feel uncomfortable living [near] an abandoned unit and want to see those structures coming down.”
According to the United Residents of Euclid Beach, the resident-created union, a recent agreement was reached with the conservancy to follow guidelines set by the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act to provide services to residents who must move. The union said the commitment addressed one of its goals.
Community advocates said finding affordable housing, especially on the lakefront, remains difficult.
“There’s just not a lot of good, affordable housing in the area that is suitable for folks,” said Josiah Quarles, the director of organizing and advocacy for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. “They have crafted a life for themselves that fits their needs and means and now they’re being tossed into a market that does not have a wealth of affordable housing.”
Zone said a letter will be sent to residents next week with additional guidance.