WEST END, OH (FOX19) - The building in the West End that collapsed Monday is one of 2,222 buildings deemed uninhabitable, according to the City of Cincinnati.
Ed Cunningham, Cincinnati's Division Manager of Property Maintenance and Code Enforcement Division, says the building's permit expired in April.
The Cincinnati Fire Department confirmed on Twitter that the building, located on the Corner of W. Liberty and John streets, was unoccupied.
A construction crew was working in the building when it collapsed around 10 a.m. All workers were all accounted for, officials said. Residents of adjoining buildings were also evacuated.
"All of a sudden the ceiling just crashed in and the building started falling," said a crew member working in the building.
Cunningham describes the 2,222 buildings uninhabitable as buildings usually not up to code with structural problems, and unsafe to live in.
East Price Hill has the most of these types of buildings at 270. Over-the-Rhine currently has 244, Northside 174, the West End 126, and Walnut Hills with 123 makes for the top five neighborhoods with the most buildings deemed uninhabitable.
There are several reasons why buildings become uninhabitable. Cunningham says the recent amount of foreclosures due to the housing crisis is one of them. What it comes down to, he says, is economics.
"If it is profitable to buy them and own them and repair them then you are going to have people doing that. If it's not, and there are more candidates for rehab then the amount of people who are willing to do it, then you are going to have some abandonment," Cunningham told FOX19 NOW.
Cunningham expects the number of uninhabitable buildings to change soon in Over-the-Rhine, where development is taking over like wild fire.
According to Cincinnati City records, a year ago would show about 500 more buildings deemed uninhabitable. The Moving Ohio Forward Grant allowed for these types of buildings to be demolished.
Cunningham says it's difficult to keep the number of uninhabitable buildings under about 2,000 because so many buildings continue to not meet standards.
Hamilton, in Butler County, also had a building collapse Monday morning in the Cohen Scrapyard on Hensel Avenue.
Police say part of a wall collapsed at the building and no injuries were reported, however it did knock down a tree and debris fell onto the sidewalk. Smells of gas were also reported.