Ellspermann Announces Program To Help Blighted Communities
February 4, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Communities could get federal funds to help clear blighted neighborhoods of abandoned homes under a new program that is part of Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund.
Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced Monday that federal officials agreed to let the state spend $75 million on the new Blight Elimination Program.
The program will focus on the “worst of the worst” homes, state officials said. Cities can apply for funds through a competitive process and use the money to address foreclosure prevention and eliminate blighted, vacant and abandoned homes
“Blighted homes drain our neighborhoods, communities and businesses of valuable resources,” Ellspermann said in a statement. “The Blight Elimination Program will provide funds to address problematic homes, stabilizing property values, improving public safety and bolstering civic pride.”
The money is part of the $221.7 million in Hardest Hit Fund funds allocated to Indiana.
“Indiana communities are burdened with thousands of blighted and abandoned homes, and many simply don’t have the resources to address the issue,” said Mark Neyland, director of asset preservation for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “The Blight Elimination Program is designed to help municipalities address some of their worst properties, helping to prevent foreclosures in neighborhoods, a significant step toward rebuilding local communities.”
State officials said about 4,000 blighted or abandoned homes in Indiana could be destroyed through the program.
[Photo: Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann with Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, and other lawmakers for the announcement at the Statehouse. Courtesy TheStatehouseFile.com]