What is going on with Sunshine Inc.?
Sunshine is an organization tasked with rehabilitating homes and filling them with lower-income families in an effort to stabilize various neighborhoods and the city itself. They do this with tax dollars, primarily in the form of federal and state money and tax credits. There is also some private money that goes into this investment.
In a Tribune story from March 4, Sunshine director Anthony Iannucci was quoted as saying, "We're going to sell these houses, and any money brought in from the sale of these houses goes back into the program to revitalize other houses."
Warren's Community Development Director Mike Keys was also quoted on rehabilitation and fostering home ownership, "This is a great opportunity for somebody. They know everything is new. ... It's a nice way to start. We'd like to see more of it."
But on the way to those opportunities, there are three Sunshine homes on the board-ordered demolition list. Nine condemned homes are on the city's own demolition list and 11 homes submitted for demolition consideration by the Trumbull County Landbank and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.
Between 5 to 10 percent of the city's currently recommended demolition needs are Sunshine homes ... homes that should be nowhere near a demolition list.
After all, money went into buying and rehabilitating these homes. Now money is going to tear some of them down, leaving gaps in these neighborhoods that this organization is supposed to be helping.
For every Sunshine home that is torn down using city money or federal dollars or AG settlement money means there is one more home that will not be torn down. This organization is an outgrowth of the city and the office of community development. There really should be some accountability for this ongoing fiasco and this really should be treated as the local scandal that it is by city council and the mayor's office.