Millions In Fed Funds Headed For Razing Abandoned Houses
February 3, 2014 — Network Indiana —
Indiana will use $75-million in federal funds to help local governments knock down abandoned homes. The money represents about a third of the Hardest Hit Fund, the federal dollars used to help homeowners escape foreclosure.
Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann says getting rid of blight is another route to the same goal — she says abandoned homes in a neighborhood siphon down the value of surviving properties, and can leave homes worth less than the balance on their mortgages.
Ellspermann says the money should be enough to demolish about four-thousand blighted homes. Marion and Lake Counties will get the first $16-million. The rest of the state has been divided into five groups, each with its own application deadline and pool of money.
Local governments must submit applications singling out the “worst of the worst” blighted homes — houses riddled with mold or asbestos, houses on the brink of collapse, or properties in the way of an already-planned development. The applications will also have to outline a plan for redeveloping the property.
In addition to being the state‘s largest counties, program director Rayanna Binder says those counties have established abandoned-home programs, and can quickly identify which properties are top priorities.