North side residents feel safe, but worry about home sales

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. wrapped up its neighborhood meetings April 1 at the Jewish Community Center. Residents seem optimistic about the future with the YNDC at the helm of neighborhood revitalization. Rick Pollo has the story.

About 30 residents of the city’s North side came out for YNDC’s final neighborhood meeting. Despite heavy population loss along the neighborhoods north of Crandall Park and just south of Gypsy Lane, residents like Mary Ann O’Neal, feel happy and safe.

O’NEAL: But we’re still not afraid to walk our dog at night. I’m still not afraid to put furniture out on the porch all year long really. No one touches anything, I feel safe.

Mary Hartwig (left) and Mary Ann O’Neal spoke with officials from the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. during the April 1 neighborhood meeting at the Jewish Community Center. While they expressed some concerns, overall they were happy with the YNDC and the safety of their neighbhorhoods. Rick Pollo/TheNewsOutlet.org

Mary Hartwig (left) and Mary Ann O’Neal spoke with officials from the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. during the April 1 neighborhood meeting at the Jewish Community Center. While they expressed some concerns, overall they were happy with the YNDC and the safety of their neighbhorhoods. Rick Pollo/TheNewsOutlet.org

O’Neal says the YNDC has played a crucial role in the city’s renewal.

O’NEAL: I believe they have a goal in mind and I’m hoping that they’re going to really stick to it, and I think the area’s picking up just because of that.

Resident Mary Hartwig says the YNDC can expand on the North side’s resources.

HARTWIG: We have beautiful parks right in our neighborhood, the Wick Park and Crandall Park. The bus route – Fifth Avenue, Elm Street – can get us to any part of the city, and that’s a big asset for people who can’t drive or can’t get around.

O’Neal cites one problem.

O’NEAL: Every time a home is demolished on a street, you have an empty blank spot. No one wants to buy next to it. Sales prices of our homes have gone down every time there’s an empty home.

Hartwig says they try to improve upon the vacant lots.

HARTWIG: Beautify it with a garden or some flowers or trees, things like that.

The YNDC will have its final meeting covering the entire city at the Covelli Centre on April 8. For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Rick Pollo.

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron)

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