Gang violence, trash on the streets, bugs in the apartments: some Toledo apartment complexes are places where people don't want to live but have no choice.
But city council candidate Jack Ford (D) has an idea he says will clean up the neighborhoods and get residents headed in the right direction.
Ford wants to create a non-profit volunteer effort called a Blight Authority to deal with blighted areas. He believes the city needs to stop ignoring places like Moody Manor and Greenbelt Park and help residents fight crime and grime.
Crime has been a problem in some of Toledo's downtown apartment complexes.
Last summer, one- year old Keondra Hooks was hit and killed by gun-fire in a gang dispute at Moody Manor.
Small kids play at Greenbelt Park Apartments, as well, and violence and rowdy behavior are a problem. Residents tell 13abc's Bill Hormann, "Some nights you can't sleep they partying all night."
Danielle Lucas says gangs are causing trouble, "They say the Bloods and Crips are out here. They need to solve this."
I've been around 40-years, I've never seen it as bad as it is now.
Council candidate, Jack Ford sees a city core with burned out, boarded up and torn down homes. Gangs and debris are making matters worse.
So Ford wants to create a *Blight Authority* to tackle the problem. He says, "We'll take a neighborhood that right now looks blighted, trashy, clean it up, that's what it will do."
Volunteers would do the work and the city or Lucas County would go after management– and even some residents– to make them more accountable for sanitation, crime and security.
Mayoral candidate Joe McNamara (D) joined Ford at today's announcement. He says, with fewer neighborhood groups promoting the interests of residents, Ford's *Blight Authority* could work.
McNamara says, "If a blight authority can fill the gap that some of the neighbors have lost, that sort of organized voice, then that's a great idea."
But residents at Greenbelt Park are not impressed. They say clean up falls short of what needs to be done.
Jeral Sanders says, "It takes more that somebody picking up trash. You gotta change the personalities and the mindsets of the people."
And Gladys Harris tells 13abc, "It's time to put residents out, get some senior citizens, get us some Section 8 and get us some vouchers to leave here."
According to a spokesman with the City of Toledo, residents at Greenbelt cannot leave for fear of losing their federal rental assistance. Also, we're told that whenever city inspectors issue citations for violations, management at the complex respond promptly to fix the issue.
Ford says his idea wouldn't involve more money, and Lucas County commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak told us Ford has not talked with the county about his plan.
But the residents we talked to say the problems of inner city neighborhoods go deeper than some trash in the yard.