Home Foreclosure South Euclid housing director Sally Martin to become Cleveland’s building and housing director

South Euclid housing director Sally Martin to become Cleveland’s building and housing director

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SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio – Director of Housing Sally Martin will leave her post Feb. 4 to start a new job three days later as Director of Construction and Housing for the City of Cleveland in the new Mayor’s administration. Justin Bibb.

Martin was hired as South Euclid’s housing manager in 2008 and later earned the title of nine-person housing department manager. When Mayor Georgine Welo hired her, Martin had just come from a job at Progressive Insurance and had no prior experience in housing or city government. His work with the South Euclid Housing Department has brought the city’s attention to the entire region.

“Nearly 14 years ago, Mayor Welo took a chance and hired me to lead the housing department, with a focus on solving the foreclosure crisis,” Martin wrote in a letter from the January 7 to City Council and colleagues. new position. “During this time, South Euclid has become known statewide, and even nationally, for its innovative approach to crisis management. This would not have been possible without the leadership and commitment of Mayor Welo towards innovation.

When contacted by phone, Martin was asked what accomplishments she was most proud of while working for South Euclid.

“Building strong neighborhoods and developing good neighborhood leaders has transformed South Euclid,” she said. “And the work we’ve done to develop One South Euclid will, I think, leave a legacy for the city.” One South Euclid is the town’s community development corporation that Martin helped establish in 2009.

In his January 7 letter, Martin called One South Euclid’s “Build, Grow and Thrive” program “innovative” and explained how it has enabled the city to redevelop vacant homes and build new homes. Proceeds from the sale of these homes were then used to help homeowners and businesses with repairs and improvements through the neighborhood grant program. The programs have stimulated private investment and also raised funds to help seniors in need of snow removal and lawn mowing.

Thinking back to when she started working for South Euclid, Martin notes that the foreclosure crisis in 2008 impacted about 30% of homes in the city.

“It was an overwhelming challenge at the time,” she said. “And when you look at what the housing market is doing today, it’s such a contrast. We had one of the most spectacular recoveries of any suburb in the region. We are (now) in a seller’s market. You can’t find a house. So, no, I never thought it would transform the way he did. I am very satisfied with the diametrical change in the housing market since the beginning of my stay here.

Martin said that over the past six years, housing values ​​in South Euclid have increased by about 60%. “Now our real estate will typically be transferred for over $100 per square foot. During the housing crisis, we were lucky to get $66 per square foot. »

Speaking about Martin and his work for South Euclid, Welo, in a written statement, said: “While we are saddened to lose Sally as Housing Director, we know she will do great things for Cleveland and the Mayor Bibb and we are proud of his leadership and accomplishments at South Euclid. For more than a decade, Ms. Martin, along with Director of Community Services Keith Benjamin and Director of Economic Development Michael Love, worked as a team to deal with the recession and the housing crisis and foreclosures and create programs and innovative initiatives that have had a positive impact on our community.

“Their leadership and creativity have been essential to the re-emergence of South Euclid as one of Greater Cleveland’s most vital and vibrant communities.”

Former South Euclid Building Commissioner Paul Kowalczyk introduced Martin to Welo. “He knew me from the neighborhood,” Martin said. “We were both living in Cleveland Heights at the time. He wanted someone else with a wit for the job (housing manager). He didn’t want a typical code enforcer. .

Martin moved to South Euclid in 2001 and intends to continue residing in the town after starting his new position.

Regarding getting his new job, Martin said: “I had a few conversations with the transition team (Bibb) and that led me to want to apply for their job in construction and housing. .”

She will go from overseeing a city of 9,600 homes to a city with tens of thousands and a department of 180 employees.

“I think the biggest challenge for this position will be to address some of the inequities in the lack of recovery on the east side, where values ​​have not rebounded. They are greatly disinvested and there is a significant risk of lead poisoning in children.

“I think the city (of Cleveland) has done a good job reinstating a rental registration and doing lead inspections. It started a few years ago. And I think now, with the big cash injection that we’ve all heard about this week, with the Cleveland Clinic putting $50 million into the problem, there are resources out there to really address the lead which is found in many of these rental houses, which is poisoning children. It is therefore an important first step.

the Cleveland Clinic provides $50 million over five years to the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, and the city, with the approval of the Cleveland City Council, will provide $17 million over two years from American Rescue Plan Act funds to the coalition.

“Additionally, I think Mayor Bibb’s goal is to bring City Hall into the 21st century, by improving customer service,” Martin said. “And it’s a big priority for the building department to align with that goal.”

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