Economic and Community Development

Economic and community development programs at Case Western Reserve are designed to help make Cleveland a better place to live and work.

The following economic and community development programs are listed by name. Use these links for more information.

Greater Circle Living Program

The Greater Circle Living program offers a $5,000 forgivable loan for down payment and/or closing costs for the purchase of an owner-occupied home by fulltime employees of any nonprofit institution—including Case Western Reserve University—in Greater University Circle, a district encompassing portions of seven Cleveland neighborhoods. Employees of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Museum of Art, Judson at University Circle and University Hospitals may be eligible for an additional $10,000 forgivable loan for down payment or closing costs for the purchase of an owner-occupied home, or one month's rental reimbursement in Greater University Circle.

Employees at these institutions currently living in the district may be eligible for up to $4,000 in matching funds for exterior renovations. Originally created as the Employee Housing Program in 2004 by Case Western Reserve, the program was well received by nearly 60 fulltime employees as $500,000 was invested by Case Western Reserve. Today, the program is spearheaded by the Cleveland Foundation and funded by Case Western Reserve, Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland Museum of Art, Judson at University Circle, the Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, the Surdna Foundation and University Hospitals. Inspired by a program in West Philadelphia by the University of Pennsylvania, Greater Circle Living aims to transform Greater University Circle into destination not only for visitors who already flock to its cultural institutions, but for employees seeking to live near these amenities and the places where they work.

Contact the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, 216.361.8400

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Case Connection Zone

The Case Connection Zone pilot research project is the first step in an initiative to determine how effective utilization of gigabit Internet connectivity can be made relevant and useful in people's everyday lives. This project will provide a super high speed Internet connection and innovative sensor-based technologies within homes—permitting real time and continuous data between users and participating partners. These partners, in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University, will focus their research on four major areas: health and wellness, education, neighborhood and public safety, and household energy management. Partners include, but are not limited to, University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical System, University Circle Police Department, Case Western Reserve University Police Department, the Metro Cleveland Consortium for STEM and First Energy.

The goal of this pilot program is to better understand the challenges and opportunities of providing super high speed Internet connectivity and sensor-based technology programs in the home, and to measure how they affect the everyday life of the average person. This pilot program will begin to identify indicators that will help answer pertinent questions including, how have these programs enhanced healthcare, wellness and education; do people feel safer in their neighborhoods; can energy consumption be managed efficiently? The results of this research will be used to measure the effectiveness of the programs for future connection zones throughout greater Cleveland with the goal of enhancing overall quality of life and increasing economic development through the use of such technologies.

Contact Lev Gonick, Information and Technology Services, 216.368.1025

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Regionally Speaking

Regionally Speaking is an annual series one-half hour programs that are dialogues focused on civic engagement with community leaders. Regionally Speaking is a "virtual" symposium and successor to the traditional Western Reserve Studies Symposium forum available online (link to Beginning in 2007, Regionally Speaking opened with a series on "The Livable City and Its Neighborhoods" and a focus on "University Circle: A Destination and a Neighborhood" that engaged civic leaders about this important center of excellence in Northeast Ohio. In 2008, Regionally Speaking explored the work being done to restore prominence to Cleveland's great neighborhoods with a specific focus on Neighborhood Progress, Inc. and its six Strategic Investment Initiative Neighborhoods: Buckeye, Detroit-Shoreway, Fairfax, Glenville, Slavic Village and Tremont with community experts addressing the issues and opportunities.

In 2009, Regionally Speaking explored the Greater University Circle Initiative, on "Community Wealth Building and Economic Inclusion" engaging residents and community experts on the historical and current issues in the neighborhoods surrounding University Circle. In 2010, with the creation of the Social Justice Alliance/Institute, Regionally Speaking committed the series in support of the East Cleveland project where there are University faculty and student involvement in this neighborhood adjacent to the University. Regionally Speaking is heard weekly on WRUWFM 91.1 Monday at 1:30 p.m. and the podcasts of the entire series are available at

Contact Gladys Haddad, Western Reserve Studies Symposium, 216.368.4117 ext.2

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