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Making Dollars from Distress

March 26th, 2012 Comments off

Although it requires twice the manpower, takes three times longer, and nearly doubles the cost to deconstruct a home than demolish it, a Cleveland company, A Piece of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Institute of Art are conducting a test program to make furniture, mill work, and other items from the ceiling joists and flooring of some of the 12,000 abandoned homes in the city. Cleveland says the goal is to make the process profitable. On average 40 percent of the materials in vacant homes, most already stripped of wiring, plumbing, fixtures, and other sale-able items, are re-usable. “The theory behind deconstruction is that even though it is more expensive to do — because it is more labor intensive — that you will reclaim and salvage enough usable material and resell it, and that that income will offset the additional expense,” said Frank Ford, senior vice president for research and development at the nonprofit Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI). The city has received $780,000 in federal grants to subsidize the difference between demolition and deconstruction, giving jobs to many ex-cons, veterans, and other challenged job-seekers. MHProNews.com has learned that Cleveland is one of the top ten metropolitan markets in which it makes more sense to buy a home than rent one.