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Documentary on Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Housing Crisis Showing June 7th

May 29, 2024

A special local screening of the documentary “The House Next Door” that details the damage to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio during the foreclosure crisis that brought rise to the Great Recession. This is a pre-release before the documentary is released nationwide.

The 117-minute documentary zeroes in neighborhoods of Slavic Village and East Cleveland, which were ground zero for this man-made disaster. 

The movie will be shown at Elizabeth Baptist Church, 6114 Francis Ave., Cleveland, on Friday, June 7, with appetizers and beverages served from 5:30 to 6 p.m., followed by a short program. The documentary showing begins at 6:30 p.m., with a panel discussion and Q&A afterwards to include film Director John Vourlis, neighborhood activist Barbara Anderson and  house-flipper Blaine Murphy.

“This documentary highlights the housing crisis that Cleveland continues to grapple with, with abandoned houses and empty lots left after demolitions,” said Council President Blaine A. Griffin. “Cleveland was hit first, starting in 2006 before it spread nationwide. 

“But we’ve done so much to remedy the situation, putting millions into demolitions of homes that can’t be saved and millions into rehabbing those which can. Council has also supported building new, affordable homes on property left vacant after demolitions. I’m proud to say new homes are going up across the city.”

The documentary introduces the viewer to many victims and perpetrators including the fascinating story of convicted felon Murphy – a former mortgage broker and house flipper who took advantage of this situation, made a lot of money, then went to prison and ultimately redeemed himself by joining the efforts to repair the damage he caused in Slavic Village.

The film documents the efforts of many in the area who worked to clean up this mess. Also featured is Third Federal Savings CEO Marc Stefanski, whose neighborhood bank had to ride out the storm.

Cleveland officials saw the predatory lending occurring and tried to enact local anti-predatory lending ordinances in 2002 as did several other Ohio cities including Toledo and Dayton. But the Ohio State Legislature overturned those laws. So when the housing market blew up, cities across Ohio also bore the brunt.

Tickets are available through Slavic Village Development ( and on-line at

All profits from the showing will benefit the Literacy Through the Arts summer learning program sponsored by Jones Road Family Development and Elizabeth Baptist Church, held at Cleveland Central Catholic High School and at the church. 

For more information call Slavic Village Development at: 216-429-1182.