Who we are
The Abandoned Homes Project, founded in 2015, is a collaboration of local leaders from the political, legal, real estate, and civil service industries working together to fight for fair and equal justice for owners of vacant and abandoned homes who face current or potential prosecution, fines, and/or jail in Ohio's housing courts.
At the same time, we are lobbying and fighting for Ohio's antiquated housing code enforcement law to be rewritten to reflect the realities of the 21st century: People sometimes fall behind financially, get sick, or otherwise face the hardships of life that are out of their control. That does not mean that we should be putting them in jail or taking their driver's license. Nor should we jail people that invested in urban communities with good intentions, only to ultimately be unable to complete their project due to factors outside of their control. Instead, we should applaud their efforts, learn and study what went right and what went wrong with their situation, and create programs and policies to help the next generation of homeowners and investors avoid these same pitfalls. We cannot, on the one hand, encourage people to invest dollars into urban communities (investment dollars that are desperately needed) just to, on the other hand, jail them if things don't go as planned.
While cities jail homeowners, fine them, and suspend their driver's license, none that we know of has stopped to ask themselves two simple questions:
"what are we doing wrong and why is putting people in jail not working?"